Gold Vibrations looks ahead to next year

A season recap for OU’s resident singers


Mary Mitchell

Members of a cappella group Gold Vibrations gather around to practice in Varner Hall.

Gold Vibrations ended competition season on a bit of a low note, as it didn’t place in the semifinals round of the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella.

Last year, the team put itself on the map by making it all the way to the ICCA finals, the farthest the team has ever gotten. Though their journey was cut short this year, the members are proud of how far they’ve come.

“The talent at semis this year was better than the competition at finals last year,” said Erin Ben-Moche, president of Gold Vibrations and a journalism major. “Every group was so incredible, so it was OK to lose. It’s just been so cool to go from nobody knowing who we were to lots of people knowing us.”

This year proved to be challenging for Gold Vibrations. The team lost seven of its members last year and had to do a lot of recruiting.

The tryout process is intense. Ben-Moche said hopefuls audition with a song of their choice. After that, the group chooses who it wants to return for a several-hour callback, and then picks its new members from that pool.

Even though working with so many new people can be hard, she said the team loved that it could accept seven new members, instead of the usual one or two.

“Sometimes, we have to turn away these great singers because we don’t have a spot for them,” Ben-Moche said. “So, we’re always telling people to keep coming back.”

Maria Gutowski, one of Gold Vibration’s new members and a nursing major, did exactly that.

After two years of being turned down, she finally landed a spot this year. Though the first few weeks were overwhelming, she said she has loved performing and competing with the team.

“I didn’t know what to expect at all,” Gutowski said. “But when we went into quarterfinals, we all meshed so well and worked like one big family. We trusted each other, which is so important.”

That trust paid off, and the team earned first place at quarterfinals. But since Gold Vibrations didn’t place at semis, its competition season is over.

Now, the team is excited for its spring concert, Ben-Moche said. It doesn’t have a date yet, but the concert will take place before the academic year ends.

“We are working on getting an EP out and are looking forward to the spring concert,” Ben-Moche said. “And, next year, I’m excited to get more new members.”

This year, Gold Vibrations once again has seven graduating members that will need to be replaced in the fall. Both Gutowski and Ben-Moche said they would love to see lots of new faces at auditions.

“Gold Vibes always intimidated me,” Gutowski said. “Being in the group has made me realize that they’re just other people. You never know what’s going to happen, so go for it.”