When Every Sound Matters

Being part of an a capella group doesn’t require having a pitch perfect voice, as senior Scott Chernobrov, president of Bradley’s a capella group, Dynamix explained. “While members don’t need to have prior singing experience, you do have to have some singing abilities or vocal percussion skills to join the group. There are some members who have been doing theater, a cappella, or choir for over a decade, and some who just sang in the shower before joining this group.”

Every sound and note matters in a capella because there is no music—it’s all contingent on the group members to “make” the music and keep the beat by mimicking instruments using different syllables. Freshman Sean Crawford is a bass and beatboxer, and he and Chernobrov—also a beatboxer—help keep the beat and chordal center in performances. 

“Part of the reason I came to Bradley was because of Dynamix. In high school I participated in competitive a capella through ICHSA (International Championship of High School A Cappella),” Crawford explained, adding that each person and note is integral to the group. “Everyone is important to our success, no matter what kind of experience you have. A capella is first and foremost a communal experience, and with genuinely kind and talented people it's more than worth it for me.”

Freshman Anthony Badawi said he barely knew how to sing before joining Dynamix. “The music director helped me improve and it built up my confidence,” he explained.

Senior nursing major Rachel Padgitt has been a singer her whole life, and she thought when she graduated from high school, that part of her life was over, until she joined Dynamix her sophomore year at Bradley. She enjoys singing in a group without the pressure of being graded. “I simply wanted to make music, have fun, and meet new people,” she explained. But, she conceded, the music is secondary to the comradery.

“Before and after every practice, I love chatting and laughing with everyone to see how their week has been going. I also love hosting game nights at my apartment where I order pizza and get to know everyone outside of rehearsals. I have made some incredible friendships in this group and saying goodbye is going to be so hard in a few weeks,” Padgitt said.

The group meets weekly and performs three to four times a semester. This year they even traveled to Nashville to perform at the after party for Harmony Sweepstakes, an a ‘capella competition. Although they aren’t a competitive group, they are working to get to that level.

“We are hoping to transition the group into an A and B group,” Chernobrov said. “The B group would be more casual, doing local performances to keep the club fun and relaxed. The A group will go out and compete, paying more attention to the detail of the music and adding choreography.”

When asked if there are similarities to The Bellas in Pitch Perfect, he said, “It’s definitely not as dramatic as the movie makes it out to be, but we are performing ‘Since U Been Gone,’ the audition song from the movie. The audience really likes it because that’s what people think of when they think of a cappella. It’s also been a group favorite because everyone gets a small solo in that song.”

Follow the group on Instagram @dynamixbu.

Emily Potts