Foundation, an a cappella group made up of 18 freshmen students, kicked off the new season with a 24-hour retreat to build community.
The Foundation is a mixed vocals, a cappella ensemble made up of freshmen. They are one of three a cappella groups of ACU Student Productions. The 18 students recently made it through auditions and were accepted into the group, which performs primarily praise and worship music throughout the year during Chapel gatherings and other events across campus.
On Oct. 6, a retreat was held for all three a cappella groups–Foundation, Hilltop and Grace Note–to spend time together at a center in Eastland.
Nick Tatum, director of student productions and communication and sociology professor, accompanied the groups on the retreat and said it is important for the members to find a time to get to know each other early in the school year.
“We hosted the retreat to create some additional practice time, to bond together in the individual groups and to create community among all three groups,” Tatum said. “We had fun competitions, ate lots of food, worshiped together and didn’t get enough sleep.”
Over the course of the 24-hour retreat the group practiced harmonies and pitches while taking breaks to play games and compete in friendly competition.
Allison Cross, freshman engineering major from San Antonio and member of Foundation, said for one competition they were divided into small groups and required to come up with a mashup of songs, add a dance to it and perform it in front of the others.
“It was a ton of fun but also a good learning experience,” Cross said. “At the end of the night, we spread out across the huge house and played murder in the dark, which I believe was a solid way to build community.”
The members were also assigned “aca-families”, similar to big-little relationships in social clubs, to build tighter community and support-systems. Each “aca-family” later participated in a number of challenges, as well. Each activity during the retreat was carefully planned to promote meaningful relationships and give the students a break from a busy semester.
Cross said her favorite memory from the retreat was the fellowship at their late night worship session after the days activities, when they piled into the living room and dimmed the lights.
“Originally we only planned to be in there for thirty minutes but I think we were just so overwhelmed by His presence that we ended up singing for about an hour and a half,” Cross said. “Just being in the room with everyone, fully praising God, reminded me of how incredible of an opportunity it is to get to meet all these amazing people who I can not just sing with, but also grow spiritually with.”