The baby of the acappella bunch at Virginia Tech, TechNotes was founded in fall 2010.
It’s not just its relative youth that set TechNotes apart — it’s the variety of its repertoire. TechNotes’ concerts feature top-40 hits alongside lesser-known indie songs and creative mash-ups.
Imagine “Enter Mister Sandman” — a combination of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” and the 1950s crooner Pat Ballard’s “Mr. Sandman.”
The group’s eclectic library of music doesn’t stop there. Other notable hits TechNotes performs include “Fidelity” by Regina Spektor, “Animal” by Neon Trees, “Starlight” by Muse and “Your Love is My Drug” by Ke$ha.
The range of songs allows group members to showcase their talents in a number of genres and ensures that all audience members will hear something familiar. Samira Rahimi, a freshman international studies major, can attest to the diversity of the group’s music.
“When I went to the Acapalooza event in February, my favorite song of the whole thing was when TechNotes did Kanye’s ‘Love Lockdown,’ Rahimi said. “It was just an unexpected choice and a really cool take on an awesome song.”
Since its inception, the 17-member co-ed group has been constantly focusing on its craft.
Mikala Michalski, a senior biological systems engineering major, is the founder and president of TechNotes. She, along with the rest of the group, has worked to perfect its sound through trial and error.
“We’ve learned to pick songs that will lend themselves to acappella — not just one that happens to sounds cool,” Michalski said.
Michalski said she saw starting TechNotes as an opportunity. There were already two men’s groups and two women’s groups, but only one co-ed group.
“(I) felt like Tech needed another mixed acappella group to balance it out,” Michalski said.
Michalski said she prefers the sound of a mixed choir, as well as the flexibility it allows for picking and performing songs.
Still, Michalski recognizes the group is still relatively new and hopes to expand on the songs it performs and improve its vocal quality. More specifically, the group wants to learn more songs at a faster rate and blend their voices together better.
To help themselves develop, the TechNotes members put in about six hours of practice on average each week. When there is an upcoming concert, they practice more.
TechNotes’ spring concert will be held on April 20 at 7:30 p.m. in the Graduate Life Center auditorium. Admission is free, though donations will be accepted. Expect to hear the group perform songs by Bob Marley, Paul McCartney and Mumford & Sons, among others.
Michalski encourages prospective members to come out for the group’s next round of auditions in the fall.
Last fall, the group held its first true auditions since the group’s formation to recruit new members. Despite being several months away from adding the next batch of vocalists, Michalski is already looking forward to them and discussing what she’s hoping to find.
“We look for people with high-quality singing talent and strong motivation,” Michalski said.