Cadence, the all-male a cappella group on-campus, has brought a unique twist to campus vocal groups since 1993. As they prepare for their fall semester holiday concert, which takes place tonight at 8 p.m. in All Faiths Chapel, they took a few minutes to reflect on what sets the group apart from other campus clubs and organizations.
“Cadence is unique because of what we do and who we are,” said Marcus Grimes, senior in social science and international studies and Cadence music director. “We are the only all-male, student led a capella group at K-State and most of our members are non-music majors. In the past, we have had times were no one in the group studied music in school.”
Cadence began as a section of the music department’s male glee club, but quickly evolved into a separate, student-run organization so the men could have complete creative control. The men book private performances, manage rehearsals, balance a privately raised budget and organize their semester concerts on their own.
“I think it means a lot when guys take time out of their semesters to make Cadence a part of it,” Grimes said. “Cadence gets the opportunity to perform at senior days and other K-State functions, which proves that a student-run organization can have an impact at K-State and represent the university, whether we sing for alumni, at local high-schools or for incoming freshman.”
Outside of taking care of official business, the group takes pride in the fact that one of their core values is accepting and taking care of one another. Travis Fritson, senior in architectural engineering and former Cadence president, said that the group members come before the music.
“There really is a bond that is hard to explain,” Fritson said. “ Perhaps it’s because we all depend on each other so much to be successful, or because we know there is nobody in charge of us so we are all responsible for making things great. I’m not sure exactly what, but all I know is I always come out with an amazing group of friends each year.”
Throughout the years many different men have come together to share their passion for music and found friends that they likely wouldn’t have found elsewhere. Mark Ronning, sophomore in electrical engineering, said the men encourage each other to do their best each day and create something bigger and better than each individual member alone.
“I tried auditioning last year but as I was walking to the auditions I turned back because I didn’t think they would like me,” Adam Johnson, sophomore in bakery science, said. “I forced myself to audition this year and am so happy I did. Cadence has taught me to believe in myself. Many guys in Cadence are constantly telling me I am a lot better than I think I am, and just being in that environment helps me so much. Cadence also taught me to love myself because there will always be people there for you when you are in need.”
With their concert coming up and the semester ending members are experiencing a mixture of excitement and nerves. The concert includes holiday carols, solo spotlights and popular music from the radio that the men spend their entire semester rehearsing and creating vocal arrangements for.
“It is our best crowd of the year,” Grimes said. “It’s different due to the fact that everyone is there to just see Cadence perform. At most of our gigs, we are hired as entertainment for dinners, meetings and other events, but what makes the concert special is that everyone who bought a ticket wants to come see us perform.”
The end of the semester concert also means preparing to say goodbye to graduating seniors. Some of the seniors have a semester left, but Fritson said the graduation nerves are already setting in for him. Saying goodbye to a group that he’s been involved with for five years will be hard for him and for the members he’s leaving behind.
“I will definitely miss the singing because that is always a blast, but mostly I will miss the opportunity to have such a great time singing with such great friends and getting to know all of them,” Fritson said. “It’s one of the most intense things I’m worried about missing when I graduate, because I know that chances are slim that I’ll ever find anything like it again.”