The beautiful compilation of voices that bless our ears at each school mass, the annual Christmas concert, communion services, and many other events during the year is Saint Ursula Academy Vocal Ensemble. SUAVE is a fun, close knit group amongst the Saint Ursula community that love to share their musical talents and volunteer their time. I had a chance to talk with three of the amazing seniors in their final year of SUAVE- Momo Greenwell, Sammie Neeb, and Megan Knapke- as they reflected on the student group and all that it has meant to them through these last four years.
When asked how they decided to get involved with SUAVE Sammie recalls, “I joined suave my junior year. My friend Momo, who I had become closer with because of the musical Freaky Friday, encouraged me to join. I signed up for an audition last minute and it has been my favorite SUA activity since.” She is very grateful for the relationships and opportunities that have accompanied this decision.
Megan recounts this same choice saying, “SUAVE is an audition only group, and the auditions are held in May. I auditioned on a whim my 8th grade year and made it in freshman year. Ensemble members are chosen based on the need for members and voice parts.” This is a chance that all SUAVE members take, auditioning for the role, but the rewards outway the initial fear.
We touched on some of these rewards as I asked the seniors what their favorite part of SUAVE was. Megan explained that “SUAVE is such a great way to do what I love with the people I love. Ms. Jennings is amazing, and every SUAVE member brings something new to the table, I love them all.”
These rave reviews are reiterated by Sammie, saying, “Easy. Ms. Jennings. She is the best music teacher I have ever had and has the patience of a saint.” Saint Ursula is so lucky to have Ms. Jennings as a supportive teacher and wonderful mentor for the SUAVE and music communities along with the SUA student body as a whole.
Next, we talked about the advice they would have for those considering trying out. They answered with words of encouragement: “Everyone who I have ever spoken to has told me their SUAVE audition was horrid (or so they thought), but nonetheless a member. So don’t overthink it too much." Also, “you might as well just try. SUAVE is a wonderful group to be a part of, and Ms. Jennings will surely fight to have as much participation as possible. If you are passionate, go for it.” Overall these seniors have had a great experience with this program and think that you can gain a lot from even just trying out for this group.
Momo, Sammie, and Megan also revealed, “People don’t usually know that it counts as a class. We get graded on shows and participation. This makes for a great GPA boost too” I did not know this and I think it is incredible how you can earn credits for what on the outside seems like a regular student club or organization.
Finally we have some basic information on the logistics of SUAVE for anyone interested in joining or is curious about what this suave is up to!
How often do they practice?
SUAVE practices from 3:10 to 4:00 Monday-Thursday
When/where does SUAVE perform?
Christmas Concerts in the chapel - November 30th, 2022 at 7pm and December 4th, 2022 at 2pm
Suave Christmas Showcase in the theater - December 9th, 2022 at 7pm
Spring Concert in the theater - April 26th, 2023 at 7pm
SUAVE Showcase in the spring in the theater - April 27th, 2023 at 7pm
Various school related events, and masses.