Picking up Gold Vibrations


Gold Vibrations members celebrate finding out they are going to the semifinals in Chicago on March 5. 

Melissa Deatsch

The Oakland University a cappella group Gold Vibrations returned from Chicago two weeks ago with their first ever International Competition of Collegiate A Cappella quarter-final win.  Now they are focused on the semi-finals that will occur the first weekend of March.

Gold Vibrations competes in the ICCA each winter.  Two years ago they advanced to the semi-finals for the first time.

According to Joe Danz, group president, this time around the group has a completely different mindset after winning first place in the quarters.

“The first time we made it to the semis…we were shocked just being there since we had never advanced before,” Danz explained.  “At that time, we were just excited and having a good time and we weren’t really focused on winning that round.”

“This time around, I think everyone in the group is aware that we have a set that could place at semis and advance to finals…Definitely a very different feeling than two years ago.”

The group spent just over a month preparing their set for the quarterfinals. 

The set consists of three songs with choreography.  The choreography is the most difficult part to prepare since not all of them are used to dancing.

Gold Vibrations held rehearsals every Thursday and Sunday for multiple hours for about three weeks in order to perfect the music before adding the choreography.  The week before the competition the group had rehearsal every night from 6 to 10 p.m. 

Danz explained that there was a lot of dedication that had to take place outside of the rehearsals as well. 

“This meant a lot of discipline and practice from our members outside of rehearsals, coming prepared to sing all the right notes and doing it completely memorized,” Danz said.

For the semis,  the group is working with a trusted superior on the possibility of changing one of the songs from their set.  They will be workshopping with her before any decision is made. 

The groups are judged based on different aspects of the performance including intonation, vocal percussion, phrasing, vocal blend, vocal dynamics, overall tone, choreography, general effect, arrangement and interpretation.

The Gold Vibrations picked up a score of 409 out of a possible 465.

The group will return to Chicago for the semifinals on March 5.  They must take first place in order to advance to the finals in New York City. 

Gold Vibrations also holds concerts throughout the year.  Their fall and spring concerts are open to the public.