By Alexandra Baxter, Staff Writer

UMF acapella singing group Clefnotes group photo (photo courtesy of Clefnotes Facebook Page)

UMF acapella singing group Clefnotes group photo (photo courtesy of Clefnotes Facebook Page)

University of Maine at Farmington’s acappella singing group, Clefnotes, prepares for the school year with auditions underway.

Clefnotes, a well-known music group on campus, centered around acapella performances. Sounds are created from the mouth and other parts of the body, such as the hands and feet. While members sing, they focus on creating beats and rhythms to form complete songs without any instruments. The group practices three days a week, for five hours collectively.

The end of the spring semester saw the graduation of several Clefnotes members. The group is now looking to expand and add a few new members. The audition process has is underway, and the number of students looking to join the group is large.

With the group only able to carry a small number of members, students must go through  an audition process, including  singing 30 seconds of a song of their choosing, followed by a voice check to test how high and low their voices can go.  This is accompanied by an exercise which focuses on the compatibility of their voices with current members. Once this stage is complete, “we select a very small group of people to come back to sing for us again in a quartet,” said Zack Lavoie, returning member and co-leader of the group. “After that, we select who will join the group as our newest member!”

Lavoie’s decision to join Clefnotes stemmed from his love of singing and music. “Music’s always been a huge part of my life, and having come from a musical family and background, it seemed like a perfect fit,” said Lavoie. Fellow member sophomore Jaycee Jenckes, adds that her passion  for singing led her to the group, as well as a bet between friends. “I lost a bet where I had to go and audition.,”  said Jencke.  “Funny enough I made it in.”

Even though they are seasoned members, Lavoie and Jenckes still experience nervousness  before performances, which they affirm is to be expected. “I have terrible stage fright,” said Jenckes, admitting that shaking hands are a common factor for her when performing. “Being nervous for shows is part of why I love singing,” says Lavoie, “It’s exciting, and it never gets old.”

Both Lavoie and Jenckes agree that the  best part of the group is the people. “We have a wonderful group full of quirky and hilarious people who just love to sing; you can’t ask for much more,” said Jenckes. “There’s never a dull moment during rehearsals and we always have a great time,” adds Lavoie.

On the radar for the upcoming year at UMF, Clefnotes hopes to take the group out of state to perform. In addition to its desire for new performance venues, it looks forward to performing with other schools, such as the University of Maine at Orono. Clefnotes will also perform at elementary, junior and high schools throughout the year.