Get ready for an aca-awesome performance from Change of Tone, Binghamton University’s diversity-based a cappella group. Change of Tone is hosting its semester show on Friday, Dec. 9 at 8 p.m., where they will perform live music without instrumentation.
The show is located in Lecture Hall 8 and attendees can buy tickets for $5 at the door. As part of their philanthropic group mission, a portion of the proceeds for the event will be donated to the Q Center.
Emily Azimi, president for Change of Tone and a senior majoring in human development, spoke about what kinds of songs and artists people can expect to hear at their semester show.
“People should expect to hear from a variety of genres, including Pop, R&B/Soul, Alternative and Indie,” Azimi said. “LGBTQ+ and BIPOC artists cover a wide range of genres, and we want to showcase as much variety as possible. Expect to hear songs from Daniel Caesar, Kim Petras, Donna Summer and more.”
Furthermore, this show in particular is special for Lyd Wyble, a sophomore majoring in statistics who joined the group last year, as it is their first-semester show as assistant music director.
“We will also be performing the first song I’ve ever arranged for a cappella,” Wyble said. “Writing an arrangement was an incredibly fun process and I’m so excited for people to hear it live.”
Despite the excitement of arranging music for the group, the process of planning and executing a semester show is not without its challenges. As Change of Tone is BU’s newest a cappella group, they have a lot of difficulties to deal with.
“A lot of the struggle we’ve faced stems from being a new group,” Wyble said. “This is our second year, but it still feels like every week we run into a new challenge. As stressful as it can be to figure it all out, I’m doing it with some of the brightest and most talented people in the entire world. I love everyone in my group so dearly and I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished together.”
Specifically, one of the biggest challenges the group faced was finding the right time and place for their semester show.
“One of our members had a dance performance for a class they could not miss,” Azimi said. “So we had to find another day that worked for everyone and wasn’t already booked up with other semester shows.”
BU may have 10 different a cappella groups, but Change of Tone stands out for its dedication and commitment to being a safe space for LGBTQ+ and BIPOC students. Wyble spoke about the difference between Change of Tone and the other nine groups on campus.
“Change of Tone is the only group committed to highlighting diversity, both in the music industry and among BU students,” Wyble said.
A majority of the other a cappella groups at BU are dedicated to a singular category of songs, but Change of Tone is different in that their performances cover a wide variety of genres.
“We are not chained to any specific genre, which gives us a lot of freedom when it comes to song selection,” Azimi said. “We also are constantly hosting fundraisers to raise money for organizations that support diverse groups.”
Beyond just highlighting diversity, Change of Tone backs up its activism by actually donating funds to these causes. Wyble talked about how this directly relates to the mission of the group.
“We are also a philanthropy-based group, with the goal of donating 100 percent of funds raised throughout the semester to charities that support BIPOC and LGBTQ+ causes,” Wyble said.
Azimi played a crucial role in starting Change of Tone and helping differentiate it from other a cappella groups.
“During my sophomore year of college, one of my roommates was helping found the group and asked if I wanted to join,” Azimi said. “I did not hesitate for a second and accepted immediately.”
For Wyble, Change of Tone’s work both performance-wise and outside the music world played a role in why they chose it over other a cappella groups.
“Music is my biggest passion, and I’m fortunate enough to be in a group where doing what I love has a direct positive impact on the world around me,” Wyble said. “I also remember walking to my audition and knowing that this was a place where I could comfortably be myself.”
Beyond just their upcoming semester show, Change of Tone has a lot of exciting upcoming events and performances for fans to get excited about.
“We are hoping to record some songs and go on tour together in the coming semesters, so stay tuned,” Wyble said.