Sophomore Jacob Shore’s intention to audition for a Whittier College a cappella group was stopped short when he realized his female friends could not audition alongside him. Forte, founded by senior Andrew Zubiate, which had been founded months prior featured a solely male sound. In learning this, Shore promptly gathered his comrades and proposed they start a new a cappella group on their own — and from that meeting, House Blend a cappella group was born.
“‘House Blend’ arises from the fact that there are two things that are essential on college campuses,” Shore said, holding up two fingers. “The first one is a cappella, and the other one is coffee. And ‘blending’ is also a musical term for voices melding together.”
The group has been active for one year now, and since its creation, members have been working to make it more well-known. Shore recently wrapped up auditions, adding new voices to the originally five-membered group. “We got a good group of people who really are committed,” said Shore, but added, “We’re still looking for a beat boxer.”
The group of singers welcomes all styles of genre, from pop songs, to medleys, to jazz music. “We don’t shy away from any genre,” Shore said. He notes that multiple members have sent him songs they were interested in covering — a promising sign for the group’s future. “This year, we’re really trying to focus more on performance,” Shore said.
The group hopes to perform before finals to offer students a study break, with coffee to sip while they listen. “We’re just trying to get out there more so people know about us,” Shore says. He even hopes to offer singing Valentine grams for students to purchase, donating the proceeds to charity. “It’s something we’re definitely going to talk about,” he said, smiling.
Apart from performing more, Shore also hopes to establish a stronger group foundation in order to make coordinating easier. With these aims, the singers hope to make the group more prominent on campus.
While Shore’s original aim to audition for the College’s a cappella group, Forte, did not play out, he does not mean to detract from the previously established group with the creation of House Blend. “It’s not a rival group to Forte at all; it’s more of expanding the culture of a cappella at Whittier College.”
Shore encourages like-minded and musically-inclined students to pursue their passions, whether that means joining House Blend, or following their own beat and founding a new group.