CSU’s longest running a cappella group creates passionate music community

Nicole Towne

When the RAMblings a cappella group perform, it does not involve highly coordinated dance moves, matching outfits or Rebel Wilson. Instead, it brings together a group of students passionate about music and the power of voices coming together.

The RAMblings started at Colorado State University in the late 1990s and are the University’s longest running a cappella group. The co-ed group is currently made up of 13 members studying a variety of subjects. They come together for a few hours on Sundays and Thursdays to practice.

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The group meets where they can find space. This past Sunday, they gathered into a conference room in the basement of Braiden Hall, accompanied by the echo of washers and dryers a few rooms down. Even in the small windowless room, the RAMblings naturally pulled together a short performance.

“I think the RAMblings overall are a really beautiful, positive group,” said the RAMblings’ President Allison Danish.

Danish is a senior biomedical sciences major with a minor in woman studies.

With seniors graduating in the spring and new members joining in the fall the RAMblings group changes on a yearly basis.

“Because it’s a college a cappella group there is a lot of turn over,” Danish said. “It’s really cool seeing how dynamics change and seeing how you can make people’s voices fit together.”

Danish said the group provides a place to engage with others and make time for music.

“It’s really fun to make music with other people,” Danish said. “Especially having a hard science major, it’s really nice to come here and be able to have a musical outlet.”

The RAMblings are a group on campus that is separate from the CSU Music Department. The members each come bringing their own musical experiences to the group. For the RAMblings, it is not necessary that the members are pursuing degrees in music.

“(The group is) more intimate,” sophomore early education major Lauren Chew said. “It’s not like a choir. We don’t have a primary director. It’s all student run and student based. It’s a lot more fun that way because we’re doing it because we love singing not because we want a certain grade in a class.”

Montana Martin, a sophomore communications major, is the group’s vocal percussionist.

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Martin said she auditioned for the vocal percussionist role her first semester of freshman year and competed against a 22-year-old male.

“I didn’t think I would get in, but I did,” Martin said. “Ever since then it’s been amazing. I love it.”

Freshman engineering major Matt Laffey joined the group this semester. He participated in a cappella groups in high school and tried out for the RAMblings after being encouraged by a member in his fraternity.

“I’ve loved it so far,” Laffey said. “It’s like a little family.”

Laffey said compared to high school a cappella groups he has participated in, the RAMblings are similar in the fact that it feels like a family but different due to a higher level of professionalism and more difficult music.

The RAMblings will hold their spring semester showcase April 23 at 2 p.m. The location has not yet been designated. For more information about the RAMblings, visit their Facebook page.

Collegian reporter Nicole Towne can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @nicole_towne21.