By: Garrett Osterode/GCU Staff
New ground broken. Steps taken forward.
From the outside looking in, 2019-20 could be seen as a disappointment due to the nature of how the school year and respective club sports seasons ended, but for Grand Canyon University Club Acapella, 2019-20 was a huge step forward.
For the first time in program history, the Lopes participated in the Southwest Quarterfinals for the International Championships of Collegiate Acapella (ICCA) held at the Scottsdale Theater for Performing Arts in early February. Despite being left off the podium, the Lopes shined in their inaugural competition.
“Everyone on our team received acclaim and notoriety from the crowd and the other teams,” said Lopes’ Club Acapella Director Philip Carr. “Just because we didn’t finish at the top doesn’t mean we didn’t do an outstanding job.”
On top of embracing the competition’s stage for the first time, GCU displayed their talents for the entire school to see at each of their semi-annual showcase events. This year’s events, each held at Thunder Alley, included the Fall Showcase, which allowed the artists to separate into small groups – based on skill level and musical interest – and create their own arrangements; as well as the Valentine’s Showcase, which featured a variety of love ballads and performances from the ICCAs.
“Our showcases [are always] a highlight,” said Carr. “Our teams rose to the challenge of preparing great literature and presenting it skillfully.”
On top of incredible performances throughout the year, GCU made strides off the stage as well. Coming together as a group and building chemistry that can translate to the stage was a big priority for the club this past season.
“Our fine group of student leaders are taking great club ownership and showing remarkable growth and maturity,” said Carr. “There is a great deal of family in the relationships and harmonies within our club.”
One student leader in particular, freshman digital arts major Sarah Brossow, pioneered the transformation of the Lopes’ online presence, allowing for their medium to be more widely seen throughout campus.
“Sarah came on board and really began to blossom,” said Carr. “Her musical, graphic artist, social, and organizational skills made a lasting imprint on our club this spring.”
GCU Acapella hopes to add a third showcase to their arsenal next year along with a collaboration event with Arizona State University, which adds more reasons to be excited for what’s to come for the Lopes.