For Mixed Emotions members, the co-ed acappella group isn’t just a musical organization.
“We’re very much a family,” said Will Enoch, president of Mixed Emotions. “We all get along well and hang out together outside of practice and gigs.”
Founded in 1996, Mixed Emotions is the second-oldest acappella group on campus, with 17 members who put in at least two hours of practice three nights a week. However, the group puts in extra practice time before performances.
But Enoch, a senior human nutrition, food and exercise major, said spending so much time together has enhanced the group dynamic — a sentiment Ray Yankey, one of the group’s music directors, echoed.
“You’re with them so much, so ultimately you develop friendships. (When I graduate), I’ll really miss that,” Yankey, a senior civil engineering major, said.
Yankey joined the group in the fall semester of his freshman year. Initially, he also tried out for Naturally Sharp, an all-male acappella group. Because of scheduling conflicts, he chose Mixed Emotions but said he has no regrets.
“I liked the mixed group because you have a lot of ranges to work with,” Yankey said. “You have so many more octaves to work with, and it just sounds much cooler.”
During Yankey’s sophomore year he become one of the group’s three music directors — he and the other directors arrange music, conduct the group and lead warm-ups.
“Essentially we do anything a chorus teacher would do in high school,” Yankey said.
Aside from practices and its own concerts, the group performs at various local events and locations — at Relay for Life, for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and at Blacksburg High School.
The group’s repertoire of songs is just as diverse, ranging from classic oldies to the newest in pop. Mixed Emotions will perform such songs at its upcoming concert, which will take place on April 21 at 7:30 p.m. in the Graduate Life Center auditorium.
Its sound will soon take a more permanent form, as Mixed Emotions plans to release its first full-length CD — the album is titled “MEMOrable” — on the same day as its concert.
Mixed Emotions worked with Breaking The Curse Productions to record the album, and a sneak peak is available on the company’s website, BreakingTheCurseMusic.com.
Producing the CD was time consuming — the group spent between 12 to 14 hours each day in a studio over a period of three weekends.
“We’ve been to competitions before, but I think our biggest accomplishment will be releasing the full CD,” Yankey said
The release of the album will be bittersweet for graduating seniors, including Yankey, who will graduate in December.
“First and foremost (I’ll miss) the music,” he said. “When you’re singing that much and it just goes away, (as it does) over the summer, there’s sort of a void, so it’s going to be hard.”