Slice of life

Empow(her) a cappella collaboration celebrates girl power

If you have walked past Crouse College recently, you may have heard Beyoncé’s feminist ballad “Pretty Hurts” emerging from the third floor. This has been the norm the past two months for the two all-female a cappella groups on campus, Main Squeeze and The Mandarins.

The combined group of 28 singers has been practicing between seven and eight hours a week since the beginning of the semester in preparation for Empow(her), a collaborative musical celebration of female empowerment, self-love and body positivity. The stage is set for 8 p.m. Friday in Schine Underground.

The concert was put together in conjunction with other female-run student organizations and campaigns including SASSE, The Girl Code Movement and the It’s On Us campaign, to promote their work and the services they provide on campus. In addition to the a cappella performances, there will be poetry and other presentations by the groups, covering various topics regarding the women’s lives.

“In developing the concept for this concert, we realized that there are so many groups and individuals on this campus who share similar passions for empowering others and helping one another other gain confidence and self-love,” said Katie Conti, a member of the Mandarins.

Members of the groups said they are thrilled to build on the momentum of other movements that have been happening on campus and want to encourage more people to have their voices be heard.

“In a cappella, we make music with our voices and our voices only. Each voice is crucial to make the blend of our sound dynamic and impactful, so we realize that the more we work together, the louder our voices will be heard, both in song and in furthering the causes we care deeply about,” Conti said.

The idea of a women’s empowerment concert developed between the president of the Mandarins, Shannon Bradley, and the president of Main Squeeze, Bryana Greer. As leaders of all-female groups, both women said they felt a personal responsibility to utilize their platforms to promote conversations about what being a woman in today’s society feels like, as well as help other female-led organizations expand their reach.

Since that conversation between Bradley and Greer, the groups have been rehearsing on their own and in conjunction with one another throughout the semester to prepare for Empow(her).

Their girl power-filled setlist was curated by members to reflect their feelings as women in the world on a daily basis. It will feature songs by Sara Bareilles and Little Mix that resonated with the members, and they hope women on campus will identify with as well.

“We ask our audience to look within and ask themselves what gives them the confidence to reach their full potential, as well as explore the beauty that is their body,” the group said in a statement.

Bradley said that when the groups cover songs by strong female icons, like Beyoncé, or sing about exceeding societal expectations, the members connect better and pour more emotion into the performances.

“We always walk out prouder than ever because of the message, no matter how the performance goes,” Bradley said. “Our goal is to leave everyone feeling empowered, strong and good about themselves.”

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