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The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

Vanderbilt Melodores release new album “Hindsight”

The group’s fifth studio album, “Hindsight,” was released on July 2, featuring hit songs like “Speechless” by Dan + Shay and “Wonder” by Shawn Mendes.
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“Hindsight” will be the 5th official album release for the Melodores. (Photo courtesy of Danny Williamson)

Releasing an album as a music group is a daunting feat in and of itself. Factor in releasing said album as a college group during a pandemic, and it may almost seem impossible. 

But for the Vanderbilt Melodores, it’s now a reality. Founded in 2009 by four students, the all-male a cappella group has gained recognition across the globe with performances in Los Angeles, New York City, London, Thun and Dubai. They even placed third in the world at the International Championships of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA’s), where they were selected to compete in Season 5 of NBC’s hit show “The Sing-Off.” The student musicians went on to win “The Sing-Off” and became the only collegiate champions in the history of the show. 

Balancing the academic challenges of a Vanderbilt course load can be difficult for any student, but the Melodores pride themselves on being able to keep up with the rigor, all while maintaining their musical integrity and recording and releasing a new album. 

“It can be a challenge to create a schedule for the group that fits all members,” President Danny Williamson said. “Someone might have a late night lab, and sometimes we had to make a tough call. But overall, the members are able to equally prioritize both their academic needs and the needs of the group.”

“Hindsight” album cover mimics an eye exam chart, fitting for the theme of “20/20 vision.” (Photo courtesy of Danny Williamson).

There’s more than meets the eye when it comes to recording an album. It requires the group to find a rehearsal space and recording studio, pick the perfect arrangement of songs and edit them all together. As it did for musicians across the world, COVID-19 had a major effect on this process for the Melodores.

“The one thing that we build everything around is singing together, and that got taken away. We could not have social gatherings. 

To look at a situation with “hindsight 2020” means to look back and have a clear understanding of its details and how to improve upon it. The Melodores fifth studio album, “Hindsight,” was released during a challenging time for not only musicians but the entire world. The a cappella group looked at the challenges posed for musicians as an opportunity to adapt and pursue greatness.

“Singing is even a bigger risk than just talking—even while wearing masks,” Williamson said.  “We moved to Zoom rehearsals which are less than ideal, but recordings were shared so we could all learn our parts.” 

Students were sent home in March of 2020 and did not return to campus until August. To release an album, the Melodores had to find a COVID-19-safe—but professional—recording studio. 

“We ended up recording ourselves one by one, and then just sort of pieced them all together,” Williamson said. “It actually forced us to produce a better product, because people had to really perfect their own individual part.”

Open call auditions for the 2021-22 school year will be held Aug. 30 and 31. For more information visit vanderbiltmelodores.squarespace.com or email the Melodores at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Jorie Fawcett, Editor-in-Chief
Jorie Fawcett ('25) is from Tiffin, Ohio, and studies secondary education and sociology in Peabody College. She previously served as Managing Editor and Life Editor. When not writing for The Hustler, you can find her teaching, reading or pretending to study at Local Java or Suzie's. You can reach her at [email protected].
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