The UBC Okanagan Beats are an a cappella club comprised of UBCO students of all backgrounds who sing together, perform shows, and even partake in a well-known international competition. The Beats Club has been singing gracefully since its founding in 2013. For those who may not know, a cappella is different from many other forms of music since it’s performed without the accompaniment of instruments of any sort.  

The Beats are more than a choir. They’re a family; this group of talented individuals bond by forming amazing vocals through a shared love of music! The Beats meet weekly to read scores, perform vocal exercises, and create music using their diverse voices. 

If you are not interested in singing on the stage or want to scope out the scene before joining, consider attending a Beats performance as an audience member. The Beats prepare two incredible annual shows for the Kelowna community; one is held in December, and the other is at the end of the academic year. The club’s winter performance, known as Frostbeat, is their a cappella winter showcase, a collaboration with UBC Okanagan’s Creative and Critical Studies department and various student clubs. This year, The Beats’ winter showcase performance ended with a grand finale of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” sung together by all three groups! On the other hand, their showcase at the end of the academic year collaborates with local theatres in Kelowna to bring the community a spectacular performance, and even more exciting a cappella pieces. These performances are always entertaining masterpieces and will surely leave you with a memorable experience.

The Beats Club is divided into three groups: The Trill Seekers, The Trebled Acaholics, and the Clef Hangers. The different roles between the groups are categorized by what challenges they task themselves to confront. 

The Clef Hangers are the most casual of the three groups since they perform during The Beats Club’s two yearly performances but don’t participate in competitions. This group is for those looking to enter the realm of a cappella and help form a community of students who love singing.

Conversely, The Trill Seekers and The Trebled Acaholics are the competitive groups. The Trill Seekers focus on uniting and refining UBCO’s finest vocal talent in order to find the most success in the international a cappella competition. The Trebled Acaholics are a bit less demanding than The Trill Seekers, focusing more on community-building and improving vocal performers. The Trill Seekers devote more hours toward practice, while The Trebled Acaholics are a group for students who seek to compete but cannot allocate as many hours.

Singers are categorized into various voice categories within each of the three groups. Each sub-group in The Beats organizes its members into the following sections: the bass, the male and female sections, and the beatboxer voice. With each member performing their role, they can form harmonies that capture the audience by compacting the sounds of entire orchestras into their voices.

The annual competition that The Trill Seekers and The Trebled Acaholics compete in is the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella — or the ICCA. This competition usually takes place around the end of January, giving teams a dramatic five months to prepare. For Pitch Perfect fans, yes, this is the same competition depicted in the blockbuster movie. Teams that make the ICCA finals compete in New York City to win a whopping $10,000 United States Dollars (USD)! Additionally, throughout the competition, singers have the chance to impress the many music producers and vocal coaches observing from the audience. 

Do you think you have what it takes to join The Beats? You can inquire about joining practice sessions by contacting them on Instagram (@beats.okanagan) or their Discord server linked on their Instagram page. Their Instagram also contains all the information you need to know about their upcoming events. If you want to improve and refine your singing voice or are simply looking to make some awesome friends, The Beats might be the perfect club for you!