Kent Clarks hold auditions for fall season

Kellie Nock

Kent State’s a capella group, the Kent Clarks, held their fall semester auditions this past Friday and Saturday. More than 100 students vied for a spot.

The Clarks are one of three a cappella groups on campus who perform concerts and showcases year-round.

As auditions approached this semester, the Clarks were keen on preparing for the season.

“Because we have a reputation …we need to maintain our sound and integrity,” said Eoin Rude, president of the Clarks and a junior theater studies major.

The Clarks have performed for both small audiences and large, including for President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama in fall 2014. They have also performed on NBC’s “The Today Show.”

“It’s very nerve-wracking, but also very exciting,” said Maddi Hayes, freshman speech pathology and audiology major, on her feelings about the audition process.

“It was a very welcoming environment,” Hayes said. “They were always smiling and encouraging.”

Hayes wasn’t the only one with pre-audition jitters. Junior human development and family studies major Hannah Holliday also experienced nerves beforehand.

“I was pretty nervous,” she said. “I don’t normally sing a cappella, but they were nice.”

The Clarks were the first a cappella group on campus founded in 2011 by Stephen Cox, originally a member of the Vanderbilt Variations. The group will be celebrating their sixth anniversary this upcoming January.

“They’re kind of like my family on campus…I finally felt like I was where I needed to be,” said junior communication studies major Meghan Mormino.

Mormino and other active Clark members helped organize the audition process in order to see all the students auditioning from all standings and majors.

“I love singing and I love music,” said Jessica Chunet, a freshman exploratory major. “I’ve never been in a cappella … it’s a good way to get started as a freshman.”

Freshmen weren’t the only students auditioning, though.

Carrie Esser, a sophomore entrepreneurship major, and Tyler Clegg, a sophomore business major, had both been in show choir in high school, and wanted to continue their singing into college.

“I wanted to keep singing, it’s a big part of my life,” Esser said.

The Clarks will be singing their way to their annual fall concert, where they will be performing contemporary hits, no instruments required.

Contact Kellie Nock at [email protected]