Beyond Harmony Includes Male Singers

Kailene Nye, Reporter

Members of Beyond Harmony are allowing men to join their previously all women acapella group.

Emilee Bixler, junior medical imaging major and leader of Beyond Harmony, said the reason men were not in the group before was because there was simply no interest, so by the time Beyond Harmony made a name for itself keeping it all-female just made sense.

Bixler said the idea of integrating males into the group was something she and the other members discussed last year and the year before with the previous leader. She said they made the final decision over the summer and agreed that if there was enough interest, they would follow through with their plans.

“With a group of girls singing, the vocal range is really limited. When you add male voices to that, it opens so many doors,” Bixler said.

She said the group can do more blending, harmonies and baselines.

“It’s really exciting, and that was my experience all throughout high school, that was what I was used to.”

Jennifer Klobe, sophomore occupational therapy major, said she looks forward to the new dynamics having men in the group will bring.

“I was actually really excited because I felt that last year we weren’t able to do certain songs with lower ranges, so now I feel like we have more of an opportunity to try out new styles,” she said.

Klobe, who has been a member of Beyond Harmony for two years, said she is most looking forward to having beat boxers.

“I’m definitely excited about having beat boxers now. That’s going to add a whole new sound to our group. Just having those lower ranges will definitely add a different sound,” she said.

Ty’Shawn Hopkins, freshman medical and health humanities major, and Isaac Glidewell, freshman mass communications and design major, are two of the first men who made it into the group after they auditioned. Both heard about Beyond Harmony during freshmen orientation.

“As soon as I heard about it, I was interested,” Hopkins said.

Glidewell said his high school did not have an acapella group, so he was instantly intrigued when he heard about Beyond Harmony.

“It’s a pretty fun time,” he said.

Hopkins said he is proud to be  one of the first males to join the group.

“It feels great. It feels like we’re the head of something new here and that it’s the beginning of something good, being the first guys ever in the group,” he said.

Glidewell said that Beyond Harmony’s upcoming anniversary makes this an even better accomplishment.

“We’re coming up on the ten-year anniversary, so it’s kind of interesting that it’s all kind of happening right now,” he said.

Bixler said her main hope for the men is that they enjoy themselves and form meaningful friendships with the other members.

“I just want them to have a good time. That was my whole experience when I was a freshman. I was on the shy side. I wasn’t very outgoing, but I took to all the girls right away and we would go and do stuff outside of practices and stuff, so I just hope that they have a good time and they see us all as a really integrated, strong group of friends that they can lean on whenever they need to,” she said.

Klobe said she also hopes Beyond Harmony will be a memorable part of their time at college.

“I hope they really enjoy it and find it to be a good addition to their college experience and I hope they just make us proud, being our first male members,” she said.

Glidewell added that he hopes to gain skills and experience.

“Music like this is about independence, but it’s also about teamwork, so it’s a lot of really good skills that you start to just gather and you can utilize. It’s really fun to see all the people smiling and I’m happy that I’m there to make that happen,” he said.

“I hope just to have a good experience and to have a good experience with great and fun people. Music is a good time and as long as you’re having fun with it and you like the people you’re doing it with, you can’t go wrong,” Hopkins said.

Klobe said she expects that the addition of male members will help the group to grow and flourish.

“I hope we can make the group more inclusive to everyone. I hope we can maybe start getting out into the community to do different types of shows and events because having an all-girls group definitely has a particular style, so now we’re venturing on to different styles, so maybe different events will be available to us,” she said.

Bixler said hopes more guys will be encouraged to join.

“I hope that more guys, especially after the talent show, see that there are guys in the group and it’s okay to love to sing and have a good time and not to be afraid of it or stray away from it because there’s so many girls and only a couple guys. I really hope a lot more guys come forward and want to join as well,” she said.