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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Ba’Note a cappella sings with heart

Published: September 20, 2013
Section: Arts, Etc.

Katherine Fallon ’14 and Talia Friedland ’16 have created their own family on Brandeis grounds. Both are leaders of the a cappella group Ba’Note, and they believe the club is a strong support system for all its members. Ba’Note is immersed in the Jewish tradition, following Kol isha, a tradition where women do not sing solos in public. Instead, members share the spotlight.
“Because of Kol isha, we appreciate the absence of “aca-drama” associated with a cappella groups,” said Fallon. “We spend a lot of time together.”
Jewish women who wanted to embrace the tradition of Kol isha founded Ba’Note five years ago. “To fulfill this tradition, we don’t have solos, but instead the solo line in our songs is sung by two or three members,” Friedland said. “Because we don’t use solos, we emphasize blending.” The group name is also inventive, because Ba’Note in Hebrew signifies “girls” or “women.”
Friedland serves as president of the group, promoting a friendly environment for all members. Before her involvement in Ba’Note she loved to sing, but never had performed for an audience.
Fallon is the music director. A life-long participant in theater arts, in high school she sang in a cappella, jazz and in madrigal groups.
“We both love the sense of community of Ba’Note, which is why we wanted to join,” said Fallon.
After the club fair, Brandeis witnessed dozens of a cappella auditions, as eager students sang in front of their peers for a spot in a group. This year, Ba’Note was very selective. “This semester, we only accepted three girls because we had limited spots available,” said Friedland. Friedland and Fallon insist that auditions are short and stress-free. “We test vocal range and pitch matching and ask those auditioning to sing a verse and chorus of any song,” said Fallon.
Ba’Note is well known for singing English pop, Jewish traditional music, and contemporary Israeli tunes. Performances take place at coffeehouses throughout the semester. Friedland and Fallon state they are usually well attended. “We always love new audience members!” Friedland said. Brandeis’ Hillel also promotes the group’s performances.
As clubs settle down for the semester, both Friedland and Fallon are ecstatic to be part of the group.
“Ba’Note is its own family. We’re all very close,” said Friedland.
Brandeis is home to ten a cappella groups, and other musical clubs such as Voices of Praise, the gospel choir, and A Cappella Etc., which helps organize all the varied singing groups on campus.