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The Student News Site of Drake University

The Times-Delphic

Brocal chords adds female members

The Brocal Chords allowed women to join this year, advertising themselves as a low-voice a cappella group. Photo courtesy of the Brocal Chords

At Drake University, a symphony of low register voices rises as one of its a cappella groups, The Brocal Chords, not only captivates audiences with their contemporary repertoire of songs such as “Fat Bottom Girls” and “Stacy’s Mom,” but is becoming a more inclusive and diverse campus organization. 

While the name may deceive some, The Brocal Chords, a traditionally all-male a capella group at Drake, has seen a surge in female membership  after it opened its membership up to all gender identities in 2022. 

Daniel Bowers, a senior studying music business and member of The Brocal Chords for the past four years, said the decision to include all gender identities was not a conscious one. When auditions for the 2022-2023 academic year arrived, instead of marketing The Brocal Chords as an all-male a capella group, the group was marketed as a low-voice a capella group on flyers put up around campus. This led to a discussion of the identity of The Brocal Chords and whether allowing anyone to join would maintain that.

“The identity of Brocals is not rooted in us being men,” Bowers said. “The identity of Brocals is us being a low-voice a capella group that doesn’t take itself too seriously.”

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After this discussion, Abbi Adrian, a senior studying law, politics and society, became the first woman to join The Brocal Cords after she auditioned in 2022.

Even as the first woman in the male-dominated atmosphere, Adrian never felt like an outsider.

“Every single guy is very accepting,” Adrian said. “They always had my back in every situation we would be in.”

While Adrian has had a year to adjust to being the only female in the group, this year the group welcomed two more women.

Kaitlyn Wood, a sophomore studying digital media production and one of the new members of The Brocal Chords, auditioned in September 2023 after not knowing that they were allowing all genders to audition last year.

“I thought it was still an all-male a capella group,” Wood said. “So this year when they said they were accepting anyone, I was like ‘Okay, I’m definitely auditioning.’”

Wood said becoming a part of the group has been an incredible experience that allows her to share her love of music with a group of friends.

Havyn Fish, a junior double majoring in music and environmental science, was the other female who joined The Brocal Chords this year. She holds a similar passion for music as Wood and  craved it in a relaxed atmosphere, which led her to audition.

“It’s kind of nice to have an activity that you’re supposed to go to but it’s not super demanding,” Fish said.

Fish had no trouble integrating herself into the dynamic of The Brocal Chords and believes that the addition of women has had a positive effect on the group.

“I think [the guys] enjoy having girls in the group now because we are a bit better with the higher [notes],” Fish said.

Having members that can hit the higher notes has allowed the group to add more higher-register songs to their repertoire this year, such as “Runaway Baby” by Bruno Mars and “Havana” by Camila Cabello. 

The expansion of The Brocal Chords as an all-inclusive a capella group has not only expanded their song repertoire but also their impact.

“Now there are more people who can relate to The Brocal Chords,” Bowers said. “It’s inspired more people to audition.”


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