Because of ACU’s Church of Christ background, a capella music has been an important part of university culture. One of ACU’s oldest a cappella groups is the A Capella Chorus, directed by Jeff Goolsby.
From a young age Goolsby knew that music was “the only thing” he wanted to do. He graduated from ACU in 2001 with a degree in music education and now conducts the University Chorale and A Capella Chorus.
The A Capella Chorus was founded in 1932 and initially focused exclusively on singing hymns and other religious songs. As the music program at ACU grew, so did the variety of music the Chorus performed.
“The core of our repertoire has not changed,” Goolsby said. “What has changed is the range of music the choir studies and performs.”
In the 82 years since its founding, the A Capella Chorus has been experimenting with instrumental accompaniment and different styles of music, but Goolsby said their focus always returns to the “core beauty and richness of the human voice.”
“We celebrate and continue to build on to our a cappella heritage,” Goolsby said.
A Capella Chorus is designed to be a “musical laboratory” where musicians can feel comfortable expanding their musical knowledge. The chorus is designed to welcome non-music majors and encourage musical creativity from all participants.
Goolsby appreciates the way movies like Pitch Perfect and shows like The Sing Off have made a capella music popular in mainstream culture and wishes ACU had more groups in this pop genre.
The A Capella Chorus is kicking off its Spring tour tonight with a concert in the Williams Performing Arts Center at 7 p.m. Listeners will be treated to a wide variety of music including the group’s signature song The Lord Bless You and Keep You, American folk music and separate performances from the men and women.
“I want A Cappella to contribute in deep and meaningful ways to the life of this university and the Abilene community,” Goolsby said.