Stephanie Trull, a musical theatre student at the University of Central Florida, won the outstanding soloist award at the Feb. 1 International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella quarterfinals in Orlando.
Trull participated as a member of the coed group Gemini Blvd., which took second place overall at the competition, guaranteeing them a spot in the ICCA south semifinals March 23 at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. UCF student Jeff Ting also won an award for outstanding vocal percussionist.
Trull joined the a cappella group three years ago as a freshman. She intended on majoring in film and was interested in the singing group as a way to make friends. Once part of Gemini Blvd., she said she realized she didn’t want to do anything for a career that didn’t involve singing, and she auditioned for the BFA Musical Theatre program.
“We do a cappella as a fun outlet because we enjoy the music and the performance aspect,” she said. The range of majors in the group includes statistics, global studies and international relations, biomedical sciences, and music education.
“This group solidifies our mission to integrate our musical theatre majors into other artistic disciplines,” said musical theatre faculty member Earl D. Weaver. “Having the opportunity to collaborate with artists in other departments like music strengthens their educational experience and broadens their skill set as musical performers. This is an excellent example of how an interdisciplinary project can benefit all its participants.”
Trull believes participating in an a cappella group is beneficial for all students, regardless of major. It enhances education, and teaches discipline, scheduling, and organizational skills.
UCF has four a cappella groups: the all-female “So Noted” and “KeyHarmony,” the all-men’s group “Crescendudes,” and the coed “Gemini Blvd.”
Interest in the singing groups on campus has soared with the television popularity of “Glee” and the movie “Pitch Perfect,” which features the ICCA. More than 100 students auditioned to be part of Gemini Blvd. this fall.
Gemini Blvd.’s winning set included music from VV Brown’s “Shark in the Water” and two mashups: “Skinny Love” by Birdie with “Almost Lover” by Fine Frenzie, and “We Found Love” by Rhianna with “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” by Whitney Houston. They will keep the same set for the semifinals. The music director for the group is Christopher Szczerba.