The energy in the Performing Arts Center was palpable the night of Mar. 30. A steady flow of students entered the PAC, excited and a little uncertain of what was to come. That night was the first time most of the students at Saint Vincent College were experiencing SVC: The Voice, and the Blind Auditions were a momentous occasion to kickstart the event.
The last season of SVC: The Voice took place in 2019, when it was celebrating its 7th season. SVC: The Voice had been occurring annually for years, starting in 2013; however, fans of the competition were disappointed when COVID-19 prevented the school from putting on the event in 2020 and 2021.
Saint Vincent is thrilled to finally bring back the beloved singing competition. The event is the largest student-run program on campus, and many people are vital in its organization. Deanna Wicks, Director of Campus Life, has helped the Activities Programming Board plan SVC: The Voice as their advisor for all 8 seasons, bringing wisdom and experience to the table. None of the student leaders have participated in SVC: The Voice in the past due to COVID-19, but Wicks said this allowed students to organize the event with a new perspective, and everyone involved has been working diligently to do the event justice.
All members of the planning committee have shown qualities of dedication, flexibility and tenacity as they organized the event. Students served as the presenters, oversaw the planning for different rounds and more. Emily Fultz, junior accounting major, has led the planning for the Knockout Round, and she reported that the biggest challenge so far has been introducing SVC: The Voice to students who have not had the opportunity to experience the event yet. She has noticed that juniors, sophomores and freshmen have been more apprehensive in attending than seniors who had been exposed to the event in pre-COVID times.
However, the excitement of the audience at Blind Auditions showed that the students are already eager to be a part of the college traditions that were briefly halted due to COVID-19.
“I have never felt more love and support from the student body than I did at the Blind Auditions, and I only hope that love and support continue through the Finale,” Fultz said.
SVC: The Voice Season 8 is off to a very promising start so far. The contestants at the Blind Auditions were talented and had a wide variety of music selections, making the evening an entertaining one. The judges—Ishmael Solomon, Kate McCauley, Kyle Watson and Cheri Falcon—are all Saint Vincent alumni, with Falcon as the original founder of SVC: The Voice back in 2013. The judges were enthusiastic about their roles, and each judge formed an auspicious team of contestants, raising excitement for the upcoming competitions.
SVC: The Voice events will take place all throughout April, with the first Battle Round scheduled for Apr. 6. The second Battle Round is on Apr. 12, the Knockout Round is on Apr. 20 and the Finale and Afterparty will be during Spring Family Weekend on Apr. 23.
Ultimately, Wicks believes SVC: The Voice will be a great success and is looking forward to the rest of the season, especially after witnessing the students’ reactions to the Blind Auditions.
“It was so heartening to be in that room, full of Bearcats cheering so earnestly for each other,” Wicks said. “You can’t find a more uplifting and kind audience, and seeing the eagerness of the crowd to participate again felt like SVC: The Voice had come home again.”