‘WU’s Voice’ is taking the stage

September means that Waynesburg University’s very own version of NBC’s “The Voice,” known as “WU’s Voice”, will be taking the stage of the Goodwin Performing Arts Center . Show dates will be Sept. 20, 27 and Oct. 4 at 8 p.m. in the GPAC.

“It’s an opportunity to be able to encourage your fellow classmates and really see them being themselves,” said Connor Hoffman, senior biblical ministry major and student in the running to be casted on the show.

Auditions were held this past Wednesday and Thursday. Students gathered in the lobby of the GPAC in nervous anticipation for their scheduled audition times.

“I practiced a lot of different songs before auditioning,” said sophomore biology pre-veterinary major Avery Burt. “As far as emotions go, I was definitely nervous.”

A total of 14 students auditioned and those doing the casting plan to take 12 singers for the show. The singers will be broken up into groups of 4, and each group will be assigned a coach from the university’s faculty. 

Coaching this year will be director of housing, Matthew Pioch, resident director and assistant director of campus ministry, Lauren Bailey, and assistant professor of vocal music and director of choral music, Melanie Catana.

Students auditioning range in class rank from freshmen to seniors and in performing experience from very little to very much. 

Senior music ministry major, Thomas Faye, was there to audition. Faye auditioned for “WU Idol” two years ago, the former version of “WU’s Voice,” and received third place. He also played the role of Quasimodo in last spring’s production of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” He said he is back this year to take home the win. 

Freshman psychology major, Sierra Hafer ventured to the auditions on Wednesday afternoon. She is no rookie to the stage and has had previous experience in a vocal competition. Hafer had the honor of representing her high school in “Washington’s Got Talent” her junior year. She said this motivated her desire to audition as well as curiosity as a first semester freshman. 

Each of those auditioning have a unique sense of musical style and perspective when it comes to their song choices and what they hope to bring to the stage. These range from pop, rock, love and ballads, while song choices for auditions ranged anywhere from artists such as Nat King Cole to The Beatles. 

“I hope to incorporate my sense of humor as well as a personality that doesn’t take the competition too seriously and just enjoys being able to sing,” said Hoffman. 

Of course, competitions like these are not just all fun and games and a prize in the form of a check will be awarded to first, second and third place. Contestants have a variety of intentions regarding spending the money if they win. 

“I’ll probably put in into a good Sheetz run with some friends,” said Burt.

“I’ll probably use it towards tuition since I still have so much schooling ahead of me,” said Hafer.

“I’ll probably use it to do my laundry,” said Faye. 

“WU’s Voice” is a free campus event and all students and faculty are welcome to attend.

“These are very popular events and it’s nice to see the whole campus community come together,” said Alexis Beauregard, sophomore exercise science major and aspiring contestant. “Everyone loves music, and it’s something anybody can enjoy.”