A cappella is a tradition deeply entrenched in the UR community. Throughout the school year, students attend the continual concerts of the groups on campus, attending the typical Yellowjackets, Midnight Ramblers, Vocal Point and After Hours concerts. The UR community will now be able to enjoy the new sounds of the school’s newest all-female a cappella group, “Declining Balance.”The group was founded this spring by freshmen Andrea Benvenuto and Ilana Feldman who arrived at the university with a wide background in music and vocal performance. They were looking for a cappella opportunities, but felt that “As far as all-female opportunities go, it is very limited,” Feldman said.Declining Balance offers an alternative to Vocal Point, previously the only all-female a cappella group. The founders, however, described how Declining Balance in fact differs from the latter organization. “We just wanted to be more relaxed, very entertaining and focus more to the entertaining aspect more towards innovative musical style,” Benvenuto explained.The group hopes to present a more relaxed and entertaining performance to the UR audience, attempting to portray in shows the fun element within the vocal group. What sets Declining Balance apart is the musical selection for their songs. “We were trying to get the type of music you listen to,” Benvenuto said, “like the songs from the late 90s that a lot of people in college can relate to because it is the songs we listened to growing up.”The co-founders cited such groups as Oasis, REM, Billy Joel, the Cardigans and the Spice Girls as examples of their pieces. This comprises the unique repertoire Feldman expressed as their musical set. “Our music is a more eclectic blend of different types of music,” Benvenuto said.Benvenuto and Feldman established the group on these principles, and selected a group of nine members to carry out these musical intentions. “We were looking for people who were enthusiastic and passionate about music, and we felt had a lot to offer intellectually and musically,” Feldman said.The final group following auditions practices four times a week, for nearly two hours each time. “We do a lot of work on vocal exercises and blending, because that is the main basis for a cappella,” Feldman said.Although Declining Balance has not yet performed, due to their recent inception, they have high hopes for the future. The group has set the goal of performing at this fall’s orientation and Meliora Weekend, with perhaps their own concert in the spring of 2005. There has been progress, as a result of the dedication of the group and assistance from the Midnight Ramblers, who share a similar background. With their help, Declining Balance hopes to establish themselves.Josephson can be reached atejosephson@campustimes.org.

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