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New a cappella group comes to Queens College

Photo by Michael Devan
Photo by Michael Devan

The iTones, a new a cappella group established as an official club within Queens College, have been gaining significant momentum as a creative entity both on and off campus.

“A group of people, four voice parts: bass, tenor, alto, soprano, guys and girls — because we’re co-ed — coming together and making music without instrumentation other than our vocal cords,” described the group’s president, Taylor Blanket.

The “musician family,” formed in fall 2012 by Blanket and vice president Jessica Altieri, had come about as a reaction to the established music environment.

“There wasn’t something that catered to everyone’s needs, something that was open to all ages, all religions, all sexes,” Blanket said.

Over the course of the fall and spring semesters of 2012 and 2013, the crew perfected their own versions of hits such as “Little Talks” by Of Monsters and Men, and The Mamas & The Papas’ classic, “California Dreamin’” and performed on The Quad as well as The Macaulay Honors College.

For the most serious members, now is the time to move from, “a recreational singing group who loves to have fun… into something that’s more serious, like a competition based group who wants to get somewhere with the music. That’s why we’re here: the music.”

“A lot of time and commitment” is necessary to achieve any practical goals and to properly assess the challenges posed by “the nitty-gritty work” of it all,” according to web master, Natasha Chait.

“We don’t just want to sing for ourselves, we want to sing for people and we want to sing for a purpose,” Chait said.
To establish and then develop a successful club on campus, let alone one consisting of 19 members, is never an easy feat but the fresh mentality of the group has achieved a steady momentum.

“I think the extraordinary thing about this group is that most of us didn’t start out thinking it would get to a point where we got funding, where we’re getting performances at professional venues, where we’re auditioning for national competitions. That was my long term dream, I would say. I don’t know if it was a goal,” Blanket said.

Having recently submitted their audition for the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella, the iTones remain optimistic regarding future hurdles and opportunities.

“I think that looking toward people who are younger and [preparing] them for roles of responsibility [are] really important to start now. So, it’s really important to give as many people as you can opportunities to be involved,” Blanket said, discussing how important the new members have been.

Networking is also a crucial ingredient for the executive board’s ideas for achievement.

“I would love to see us be able to have stable connections,” Chait said. “I want us to get out there, I want us to be able to perform with other people and I want us to be acknowledged because we’re still very new and people are still finding out about us.”

Although ideas for advertisement and expansion within the group remain conceptual, their effort in performance and online promotion shows room for growth.

“A long term goal is basically just to have a stable environment and a safe environment where people can come and express themselves and make friends, but at the same time continue on with the traditions,” Blanket said.

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