Student Org Spotlight: A Capellate Opinions

Roger T. Dean ‘19
Guest Columnist

Welcome 1Ls and everyone else back to Charlottesville. We are excited to have you here ready for a new year. My name is Roger T. Dean (3L) not to be confused with Roger Dean (2L). He is a great guy, but I’m just not him. I am writing to let you all know about an organization that the 3Ls know about, but the 2Ls and 1Ls may not know too much about. The A Cappellate Opinions is UVa’s only a capella group made up of exclusively law students. We aim to practice, enjoy, and perform contemporary a cappella music.

During the 2016—2017 school year we performed our music at two concerts, one in the fall and one in the spring. We performed holiday music at our fall concert with some fan favorites such as “Royals” by Lorde. We performed “Blank Space” by Taylor Swift in the spring. Last year, due to unforeseen and uncontrollable circumstances, we were unable to perform at all, but we do have members who are ready and eager to perform for you all. However, as with any organization, the future is in the youth. We are actively seeking new members to help fill out our voice and make our music sound fuller. We have auditions coming up this Wednesday and Thursday, September 5 and 6, from 6 to 8 p.m. in Caplin Pavilion. I would highly encourage you to audition if you like to sing or like to perform! If you can carry a tune with or without a bucket, we would look forward to hearing you sing for us. In case nerves are a concern, you would only be auditioning in front of a couple of people. We are nonjudgmental; we are here to have a good time and do well. If you are interested in signing up for an audition, please fill out your information in a slot on the spreadsheet found at

If there are not enough slots, or if you are unable to make it to an audition during this time, please contact me at ( Ideally, you should contact our Musical Director Mika Bray at ( We will work something out at a different time. We all understand everyone’s schedules are busy this week with the school year getting underway.

We will rehearse one to two hours per week (probably closer to the one-hour side of things). Our first performance will be at the UVa v. Louisville volleyball game singing the national anthem, and we will perform toward the end of the semester as a study break. Other performance opportunities may arise throughout the semester.

During your audition, we will run through scales to test your range, vocal swells (soft to loud to soft again on the same note) to test your volume control, and pitch matching (repeating a series of notes I will play) to test your pitch memory. Lastly, you will get to sing a solo of your choice. It can be anything you like, from a pop song to a musical theater number to jazz. Please prepare about one minute of a song for us to hear.

The A Cappellate Opinions is one of the only ways you can channel your artistic side while in law school. I know we all have passions that are going on the back burner to make sure we accomplish our goals and succeed in the legal field. Nevertheless, I believe that this organization will allow you to grow as a performer. Additionally, it should get you ready for Libel auditions, which you definitely should also look out for.

I advise everyone to find something outside of just reading for class that makes you feel great or like yourself. We work hard here at UVa Law to make sure we reach our goals, but you also have to play hard sometimes in order to balance that out. I am extremely proud of you all for reaching this point and choosing this school to attend. We look forward to performing for you all to help ease the stress, and we would love for you to join us. Another way to think of our organization is to combine two movies. You ever see “Pitch Perfect”? You ever see “Legally Blonde”? Put those two movies to together. That’s us. You can be Reese Witherspoon or Anna Kendrick. Take your pick. Anyways, if singing music without instruments is a passion of yours, we would love to see you this Wednesday and Thursday, September 5 and 6, from 6 to 8 p.m. in Caplin Pavilion.