By Stephanie Stanavich
Youngstown State University has opened its doors to a new type of music-centric student organization, an A Cappella group called PellaPenguins.
Anna Maria Jadue, a junior at YSU, is an Integrated Language Arts and Vocal Music major. She is also the president of YSU’s only Acapella organization that is new to campus, PellaPenguins.
“I’ve always wanted to start an acapella group since I heard about them in high school, especially after Pitch Perfect came out,” Jadue said.
Jadue and friends were watching the popular acapella movie, Pitch Perfect, when they decided to prepare a song for the Honors Talent Show at YSU in 2015.
“We ended up winning second place and the next year we became an official YSU student organization and it’s only grown from there,” Jadue said.
The president organizes practices on Mondays and Tuesdays for an hour each day. During this time, the group prepares for concerts and practices new songs.
“We are working with our advisor, Dr. Ronald Shaklee, to record a couple of our songs for a CD.” Jadue said. “I would like to be able to do competitions, but we are not quite there yet.”
For some students, breaking out of their shell and joining this group may be challenging. PellaPenguin member Rachel Davis is in her senior year at YSU. She has a unique talent that she used to hide, but now is proud of because of the organization.
“I was always somewhat embarrassed of my talent to beat box, but PellaPenguin boosted my courage in my strange little ability.” Davis said. “I have also been too shy to sing in public, but this group helped me to sing with confidence and clarity.”
Megan Factor is a junior in Advertising and Public Relations involved with PellaPenguins.
“We are all about having fun and the roots of the group are in making music with friends and having a great time, so we try to incorporate that in everything we do,” Factor said.
Factor is also the publicity chair of the PellaPenguins and has many plans on getting their group known.
“We would love to perform more off campus and eventually be compensated for our talent,” Factor said. “We are currently in the process of getting shirts made for the group and planning fundraising events that would go towards sheet music.”
Jadue schedules auditions at the beginning of each school year. Students can contact PellaPenguins through email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by a message through Facebook.
“I have loved every minute of it and I feel like I was missing something before I joined PellaPenguins.” Factor said, “The best part is people want to come to practice because they love what we do, not because they have to for a grade.”