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Celebrating 10 years of being Audacious

| Judy Berthiaume

Current and past Blugolds will gather this weekend to celebrate 10 years of being Audacious.

Several alumni will join the current members of Audacious, UW-Eau Claire’s nine-member, all-female a cappella group, to offer a family-friendly, free concert Saturday night.

The 10th Anniversary Concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 14, in Schofield Auditorium.

Abby Polipnick, a junior English literature and women’s studies major, took a few minutes to talk about the concert and the impact being part of this group has had on her college experience.

Abby, who joined Audacious as a freshman, is a McFarland native who plans to graduate in December.

How would you describe Audacious?

We strive to empower women through our music and our actions. We’re a very close-knit group, and in supporting and empowering each other we are better able to have a similar effect on our audience.

We have a concert at the end of fall semester and at the end of spring semester each year. We also go on a tour at the end of every semester to an area in Minnesota or Wisconsin. We go to a new place each semester.

On tours, we sing for choirs, work with high school a cappella groups, perform a few night concerts, and talk with kids about what college is like, how and why to continue singing, and what it’s like to be in a collegiate a cappella group.

Audacious holds auditions whenever a member or members of the group leaves, which typically is due to graduation.

What is special about the May 14 concert?

Our alumni are involved and will be singing three songs alongside the current members of Audacious. Two songs have been anthems of the group long before the current members became a part of it.

We will be celebrating the many ways that this group has grown, as well as the people who’ve been part of making Audacious what it is today.

A few songs were sung years ago by the group, including one that was arranged by an alumna.

We’re also singing a song that will feature our four newest members, who will join us in the fall.

We’re looking forward to a concert dedicated to the celebration of all that Audacious is, was and will become.

Why did you join Audacious?

I auditioned for Audacious in December of my freshman year at Eau Claire.

I’d seen the group perform at UWEC’s Varsity Night Live and at a series of other events, and knew that the strength, musicality and bond Audacious had was something I wanted to be a part of.

What’s been the highlight of your experience with the group?

It’s hard to pick a single highlight of a group that has given so much to me throughout my three years in it.

In terms of what we do related to performing, my favorite experiences always come from tours.

Being role models for young women has been something I’ve been honored and thankful to do.

Seeing the inspiration in the eyes of young kids and teenagers who soon will enter college has been incredibly rewarding, and it gives us the chance to encourage young women to be self-confident, to love themselves, and to love and support the people around them. And, also, to sing loud and proud!

How has Audacious enhanced your experience at UW-Eau Claire?

This group has been a stronghold for me throughout my time here. It’s hard to describe its numerous positive effects on me!

The people in this group have loved, supported and encouraged me.

Through Audacious, I’ve gained a better sense of self and a better sense of what it means to support others. The people I’ve gotten to know in this group will be a part of my life forever, and I’m so thankful for that.

Audacious also gave me a chance to sing as a non-music major.

I’m in choir as well, which has been one of my favorite experiences at UWEC, but Audacious is unique in that it is very small.

Making music with eight other women who are as passionate about singing and about empowering other women as I am is something I have been very lucky to experience.

Tell me about the group’s outreach in the community?

Audacious has made many connections over the past 10 years that allow us to sing for many different organizations and events.

In addition to our two tours each year, Audacious has sung at places and events like the Boys and Girls Club, UW Meets EC, Light the Night Gala, Take Back the Night and International Folk Fair.

Two years ago, we had the opportunity to open for Home Free, an a cappella group that won The Sing-Off, in the hometown of one of our members.

We greatly enjoy being able to sing at these events and to give back to our community.

Anything else you want share?

If you’d like to learn more about who we are, like Audacious on Facebook or follow us at @audaciousuwec on Twitter and Instagram.

Photo caption: Current members of Audacious, UW-Eau Claire’s all-female a cappella group, are (from left) Abby Polipnick, Zoe Gaspar, Annie Jackson, Holland Kabat, Alyssa Styczynski, Maddie Forrest, Ellie Masias, Alissa Anker and Becca Schaberg.