Let the countdown begin to everyone’s favorite performance of the semester. Every professor, student, and community member looks forward to this special moment. It is a night full of energy, passion and fun. You’re wondering what I’m talking about? The Plus One concert, of course.

Plus One was started by a student, Eddie Cox, in the winter of 2000. It received its name from the nine people in the group – two quartets and the addition of one extra “swing” singer who can sing varying parts. Completely a cappella, this group blows the minds of the entire community at least once a semester when they perform in concert.

This semester’s Plus One group is almost an entirely new group of fresh faces and voices. Many of its members either graduated in the spring or are traveling abroad this fall. This means there are seven new members and only two returning members. Sophomore Dylan Hannigan, a new member of Plus One, understands the different group dynamic but said, “I think it’s good to focus on what we do have. Last year was great, but the moment has passed, and we have to look forward to what we have now.”

“I remember the first time I sang with the group,” said sophomore Aaron Switzer, a two-year member of Plus One. “We opened our mouths and our voices came out. It was completely in harmony even though we had never sung together before.”

“We try to map our pieces out at the beginning of each semester and we go through different songs to see the possibilities,” said senior Anneke Reed, a three-year member of Plus One. Each member has its own favorite musical genres, but they try to keep their audience entertained by picking recognizable and upbeat arrangements regardless of genre.

“We bring people together at the end of each semester, but that’s what I want to change,” Switzer said. “We want to give much more than that. We want the students to be more involved in what we sing and what we do.” The group has many ideas about how to involve the community with Plus One, as well as how to get the group involved with the campus.

“We have a pretty cool trick up our sleeves for the campus,” Reed said. Plus One has shared its talents individually and collectively by performing at Starbrooks and singing the National Anthem at sporting events. It has plans for making promotional videos, song mashups, and even a flash mob.

The group will do whatever it takes to give the campus a taste of the amazing and inspiring Plus One energy. “.Singing a cappella is very different. You have to take into account the beat and the fact that your voice is an instrument. Blending is really important because in a cappella, every sound counts,” Hannigan said.

“I love acapella,” Reed said. “I love harmonizing with people. It’s really great to sing with really talented people.” Watching and listening to this group shows what a real team looks like, and what it takes to work and sing together.

Switzer is excited to start the new Plus One Facebook page, where students can stay up to date with upcoming concerts, promotional videos, and discussions about what they would like to hear performed by Plus One.

Image courtesy of Julia Suber