For the past 13 years, vocally gifted students have competed for first place at WU Idol. As of Sept. 5, Student Services brought WU Voice to campus for a new twist on an old tradition.
Ryan Smith, assistant director of student services, says he looks forward to the change and thinks it will be an exciting shift.
“The Voice is a little more, well, with the times you could say,” Smith said.
Auditions for WU Voice were held Sept 4 and 5 where all students were welcome to come and sing a sample of their musical talent.
Connor Hoffman, junior children and youth ministry major, came out to audition for a chance to compete in WU Voice.
“I enjoy singing,” said Hoffman. “I’m not afraid to make a fool of myself on stage.”
For his audition, Hoffman sang “Fly Me to the Moon” by Frank Sinatra for which he prepared thoroughly.
“I mainly sing it in my head, making sure I have the lyrics down. I have a lower vocal range than Frank Sinatra does, too, so I have to make sure I transcribe it correctly. Make sure the notes are right.”
Though Hoffman didn’t participate last year, he is looking forward to the opportunity of performing and singing this year.
“On the show, they do a battle round where they have two singers that are actually onstage at once,” Hoffman said. “I really would find that enjoying if I make it through to do that and get to incorporate that. Getting to perform with someone else kind of takes the edge off my nerves a little bit, and I like the little extra competition.”
Junior Nursing Major Timothy Tosh also showed up that Wednesday for an audition, though his turned out to be a little more spontaneous.
“I just saw the sign posted,” Tosh said. “I like to sing, and I just said ‘Hey, why not.’”
Tosh is enrolled in the Fast Track program, so this is only his first year on campus, though he is technically a junior. Therefore, he elected to keep expectations out of the equation.
“No expectations. Just for fun,” said Tosh. “My first degree was in music. I love music for music’s sake. It’s just for fun. If it gets me somewhere, great. If it doesn’t, I’ll still have fun.”
Tosh’s spontaneity was only for the audition, he says.
“I already had a few songs already lined up,” Tosh said. “So not necessarily much preparation. Just what I’ve been trained to do already from the four years I went through to get my degree. Of course, I’ll prepare a little bit more if I make it to the next round.”
From those 18 total students who auditioned, only 12 will become a contestant for the show. Those that make the cut will have their debut performance Sept 21 at 8 p.m. in the Goodwin Performing Arts Center [GPAC]. From there, the event takes on characteristics of the TV show by assigning each singer to a team of three, one coach per team, to prepare with for the following weeks.
“There’s gonna be four coaches,” said Smith. “They’ll pick a theme for their performers. And then, when the next round comes, everyone performs again, and there will be a vote. Two out of the three contestants will move onto the final round.”
Each performance will be at 8 p.m. in the GPAC on Sept 21, Sept 28 and the finale on Oct 5. Prizes will be awarded to the first, second and third place contestants.