You?ve heard them in Wilson Commons and on nice days outside on the Wilson Quad. They?re the gentle background voices you can?t quite get out of your head. They?re the source of melodic sounds floating around campus.
They?re the UR a cappella groups, and two, the Yellowjackets and the Midnight Ramblers, have been chosen to be included on the national BOCA (Best of Collegiate a cappella) 2001 CD.
Because the Ramblers have only existed for three years, it came a shock and great surprise to senior and Rambler Mike McKinsey that the group should be included on this CD.
?We were thrilled to be chosen for the honor of singing on this national collegiate CD and hope people enjoy it,? McKinsey said.
?It is a crowning achievement that the Ramblers were lucky enough to have been selected on a CD featuring the best of collegiate a cappella,? said senior Chris Lind, another Rambler.
The Ramblers agree that the song chosen for the CD, ?Truly Madly Deeply,? was a fitting one ? it features three of the group?s founding members.
The Yellow-jackets have been on the BOCA CD once before.
The song that has been chosen for the 2001 CD is ?Now and Forever,? a tune that is special to the group because it was arranged by senior Ben Jaco-by and former student Connor O?Brien and features a solo by Class of 2000 graduate Brian Scharfenberg.
The CD also includes a cappella groups from schools such as Tufts University, University of Pennsylvania, Stanford University, University of Southern California, University of Michigan and Boston College.
The release date for the 17-track CD has not yet been set.
A cappella groups from 15 countries submitted about 300 live or recorded CDs to Varsity Vocals in California. The submissions were judged by factors such as their intonation, synchronization and solos.
Right now, the Yellowjackets and the Ramblers are preparing for the Mid-Atlantic Regional competition that will occur on Feb. 17 in Strong Auditorium. A cappella groups such as the Cornell Hangovers and the Binghamton Crosbies are slated to compete.
Junior and Ramblers director Brad Hartman said the Ramblers are ?very proud, being a new group, getting on BOCA and now having an opportunity to host this competition.?
UR is also home to several other a cappella groups. Vocal Point, the only all-female group, performs pop music and has produced seven albums. Chari Vari, a co-ed group, sing a blend of jazz and modern a cappella. The Mazel Tones, also coed, is a Jewish group which formed at the beginning of this school year.
Students on campus say that the groups deserve their national recognition.
?I?ve been attending both Yellowjacket and Midnight Ramblers concerts since I was very young,? said sophomore Greg Lozeau. ?Now, as a UR student, I continue to enjoy these a cappella groups and encourage my friends to do the same.?
Freshman Buck Pederzolli agreed. ?The a cappella groups on campus, and particularly the Midnight Ramblers and the Yellowjackets, deserve a hand for their efforts and achievements both on campus and nationally,? he said. ?After all, they?ve always managed to put a smile on the faces of UR students.?