With Soulstice only a few days away, the anticipation for UCI’s annual talent extravaganza is reaching new heights. This week, as part of our ongoing series highlighting the talent performing at Soulstice we spoke to Dan Li, President of Uniting Voices, a group competing in the A Cappella category.
Uniting Voices was founded in 1994 as a gospel choir, but after that group gradually began to fade UV reinvented itself in 2007 shifting their focus towards a smooth mix of pop, soul and R&B, a melodious blend that creates a funky, modern style with a vintage touch.
Their core strength is their group dynamic; the diverse co-ed team of Uniting Voices is made of five sections: The Sopranos (Alison Tran, Caroline Tan, Ellen Shieh, and Erichel Fernandez), the Altos (Bea Monserrat, Brooke Parish, Clarissa Angela, Danelle Etheridge, Jacqueline Tran, Julia Salamat), the Tenors (Dan Li, Dong Jun Kim, Eric Tran, Ryan Duong), the Bass (Benjamin Advincula, Daniel Huynh, Jemuel Crawford, Josh Dela Luna) and Vocal Percussion (Reigan Alcaria).
The Sopranos and Altos belt out the highest notes on the musical scale, while the Tenors and Bass manage the lower spectrum and Vocal Percussion keeps the beat, ensuring UV’s melodies and harmonies smoothly blend together while their choreography adds a synchronized, visual flair. This malleability, their broad spectrum of music and the personalization of their interwoven covers and mash-ups showcases Uniting Voices’ definitive place in UCI’s music scene.
For six years, Uniting Voices has established themselves as a renowned A Cappella group, having competed in every Soulstice competition so far and even won the prize for the A Cappella category at last year’s Soulstice.
Riding off of last year’s success, according to Li, “[UV] has a lot of ambition, and our greatest struggle this year was agreeing on a shared artistic vision, but we’ve managed to find our common ground, by including a little bit of us in the arrangement. Ultimately, we still try to prioritize that having fun and loving what we do is more important than winning!”
That attitude alone is what makes UV stand out as an A Cappella group. Sure gigs and performances are important, but at the end of the day the shared experience of song and dance is matched by UV’s bonds of friendship and this becomes evident in their music.
As for this year’s Soulstice: “[Expect] a lot of nostalgia, a lot of vulnerability, and as always smooth, powerful vocals.”
Uniting Voices faces the co-ed Vermillion Vocalists and all-male Circle of Fifths Thursday in their quest for continued championship and their friendly rivalry ensures that the show will be as entertaining as it is competitive. United Voices hopes that this year’s Soulstice will further their mission “to continue spreading our name throughout campus, and hopefully leave a lasting, longing impression on the audience that they can take with them.”
Uniting Voices is coming, along with many other talented acts to Soulstice, this Thursday, Feb. 18.