Voice quartet finds victory
Under the spotlight, singing to a crowd and listening to the roar of applause: this is the dream for Towson-based a capella group GQ. This is a dream that may soon become reality after the hard work and dedication they put into their art after they secured first place in the regional Harmony Sweepstakes A Cappella Festival and second place in the National Harmony Sweepstakes in California, Towson alumna and group member Katie Gillis said. Besides Gillis, the voice quartet is comprised of students Ali Hauger, junior Amanda McNutt and junior Katie McDonald, all of whom are looking for a degree in music.
The group formed as a result of Gillis’s capstone project. It was there that GQ was formed and flourished, she said.
“The moment we started singing together we could all feel the energy and the connection – it just worked,” she said.
Gillis thinks of her group as her dream team, she said. When one of Gillis’ teachers told the group about an opportunity to compete vocally in the regional Harmony Sweepstakes, Gillis said it was something that they couldn’t refuse. GQ took home first place for their Mumford & Sons cover.
“We had no expectations going in, and were really just excited about the experience,” she said. “We were blown away, and just glad that people liked what we were doing.”
The National Harmony Sweepstakes was third competition for the quartet, and featured broader audience and feedback network than the regional competition.
“We’ll have the title and along with it we got to meet a lot of the other teams we competed against in the competition as well,” McNutt said. “It’s a big way to get our name out there. Hopefully, people will go on Facebook and like us and ask us to come to workshops and gigs.”
When preparing to perform for each competition she said that it isn’t hard to keep the environment positive, Gillis said.
“We all love hanging out and we tend to act very weird right before a performance,” she said. “I guess it’s everyone’s way of getting out nervous energy, and also so we don’t take ourselves or the competition too seriously.”
While GQ is currently focusing on arranging and live performance, Gillis said they hope to record a CD over the summer. They aspire to eventually tour and perform in clinics all across the east coast. Thanks to the positive response that their talent has garnered, the group may go farther than they had ever thought it would, she said.
“None of us ever saw this as a career thing, but the positive response is definitely encouraging.” Gillis said. “We would love to do this every day if we could.”