Freshman year, Katie Murray lost her voice. Bronchitis couldn't have come at a worse time - it was the week of a cappella auditions and Murray, now a junior, was on a mission.
"From the moment I saw the a cappella concert at orientation freshman year, I was hooked," she said.
She missed auditions that fall, but for the rest of the year she never missed an a cappella concert. A year later, she joined Off The Cuff.
OTC practiced three times a week for two hours each session. The group selected its songs at listening parties.
"We gather at someone's apartment. We bring snacks and each get to pick three songs that we think would make good arrangements," Murray said. After listening to everyone's selections, the group voted. The chosen songs were arranged by one of OTC's members using a computer program called "Noteworthy."
Murray's earliest memories of singing were of performing Disney musicals with her sister on holidays. She said their dad had always encouraged their love of music and had wanted them to listen to a wide range of genres.
"My dad has very diverse taste," Murray said. "I'll find him listening to anything from the Rolling Stones to Gregorian chants."
In addition to OTC, Murray serves as a Jepson senator and Pi Beta Phi sorority's Playing for Peace chair. She is also a volunteer for Build-It and Overby Sheppard. But OTC has a special nook in her Richmond experience.
With a smile and a shrug, she summed it up, "They're like my family."
Contact staff writer Lucy Hester at firstname.lastname@example.org
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