Mu Phi Epsilon, Trinity’s music fraternity, is preparing to hold their annual Trinity Idol competition on Wednesday, November 4, Trinity Idol. Students will perform songs of their choice in front of a panel of three judges from various faculties of Trinity, including Andrew Hansen, associate professor of human communication and theatre and John Jacobs, assistant director of student involvement. After several weeks of auditioning and practicing, the contestants are preparing for the real deal.
In order to perform at Trinity Idol, contestants had to make it past an initial audition round; about 30 contestants auditioned in this first round, and only some were selected to advance to the next round, much like auditions seen on reality shows.
“It’s Mu Phi’s attempt to emulate American Idol at Trinity. There are two rounds of judging; we picked ten contestants from the first round, and they will be performing on the night of Trinity Idol,” said Susan Lo, junior music education major and Mu Phi Epsilon member.
The three judges will then select their three favorite performers whom audience members will then vote on to determine the winner.
As an active member of the fraternity, Susan will also be working the event to ensure it runs as smoothly as possible.
“I’m helping with ushering and setting up the stage,” Lo said.
As the event approaches, students may find themselves getting nervous, but with time left to practice before the event, anxious students can calm their nerves.
“Seize the chance to practice your song in front of friends or even strangers,” Lo said.
Contestants are using this performance as a chance to share their skill or passion for music with others.
“I really like to sing, and it was one of those moments where I got to sing, but I don’t have to make a huge commitment. I used to sing in my previous school, at talent shows and stuff, but that’s pretty much it,” said Kenneth Kusima, a first-year engineering major and Trinity Idol contestant.
After auditioning with Ed Sheeran’s “Tenerife Sea,” Kusima was selected from the first round contestants to perform at the showcase, and since then, he has been building excitement for the event.
“It’s been an informative process. You really know what to expect, but at the same time, you’re fighting because you have no idea how the other people are going to be. But in general, just to get the chance to sing and perform, that’s awesome,” Kusima said.
Kusima says that as a first-year student with a heavy workload in engineering classes, this is a good, short term opportunity to work on one of his passions, as he plans on performing an original song.
“I really like the way Trinity is allowing this. You don’t have to be a music major; you can be whoever from Trinity, and you can perform and just share your music. It shows that the liberal sides of Trinity; you’re not defined by your major or anything else,” Kusima said.
Although Trinity Idol is a contest, members of Mu Phi Epsilon initiated and put great effort into the event to ensure it’s more than just a competition.
“I run Trinity Idol, I’m the Trinity Idol chair. I do booking, planning, auditions, decorating, everything; it’s my job to make sure it all gets done,” said Sonny Luna, senior fine arts major and member of Mu Phi Epsilon.
The fraternity has planned this event to be one that celebrates music and the enthusiasm several students have for it.
“This is a vocal showcase and talent competition; it’s a chance for students who are not necessarily ‘professionals’ with talent and passion for music to express it,” Luna said.
The relaxed, open nature of the event allows contestants to feel comfortable while receiving feedback and support.
“This is about putting yourself out there in front of a small group of people, getting feedback on your talent and growing as an artist,” Luna said.
This competition has provided several students with opportunities for growth, which they say ensures that their enthusiasm for music continues to develop and strengthen, no matter how involved they may be with music.
“A lot of people audition to see how they perform vocally. I’ve set up contestants […] and members of Mu Phi Epsilon to coach them. It’s more about developing your passion. It’s a competition, but it’s not about being in a competition,” Luna said.
Trinity Idol will be held on Wednesday, November 4 in Laurie Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. The first 50 people at the door with a canned food donation will receive a free t-shirt. Students of varying backgrounds, majors and skill level will use this performance at Trinity Idol as an opportunity to take a break from classwork and sing their hearts out in front of an audience, with hopes of producing an exciting show.