Memorial Hall, the location for Saturday's festivities, represents a step up for the Loreleis, who have been confined to smaller spaces due to money concerns. Current members are looking forward to performing there.
"We are beyond excited," said Rebecca Andrews, the group's president. "We've been pushing the limits of the smaller venues."
Singing in the Pit, on local radio station G-105 FM and in residence halls has all been part of this week's efforts to publicize the anniversary concert.
Like their male counterparts, the Clef Hangers, the Loreleis recently entered into a partnership with the General Alumni Association.
"The GAA helps a lot with publicity," said Loreleis Publicity Chairwoman Whitney Henry. "We have a lot more campus support than we've had in the past, and that will only get better."
The GAA is also coordinating reunion efforts for this weekend, bringing back many former members, Loralums, for the show. A Sunday brunch for the Loralums completes the weekend, something Jennifer Sinclair, a member of the group from 1996-99, anticipates.
"We'll sing old songs, reminisce and be a cappella dorks," she said.
But none of the weekend's events would have occurred without a well-timed letter in 1984. Two years after its founding, the group was defunct, but graduate and original member Sarah Klemmer didn't want to see it end permanently. She remembered Rah Bickley, a girl who had tried out for the group in 1982, and decided to contact her.
"Sarah wrote me a letter and said `I want you to revive this group,'" Bickley recalls.
Bickley held auditions after seeking advice from a Princeton a cappella group, and the Loreleis were back.
The group's focus gradually began to shift. The members stopped singing the "traditional and conservative" songs of years past and instead began singing their own arrangements of popular music, complete with percussion. This new plan proved to be successful.
In 1996 the Loreleis were the only all-female group to enter the first National College A Cappella Competition at New York's Lincoln Center. They took home first place to the pride of current and former members alike.
"That was a hell of a coup, beating the Ivy Leagues at their own game," Bickley said. A performance of En Vogue's "Hold On (To Your Love)" on "Good Morning America" followed the win. Since then, the group continues to compete, perform on television and tour.
From Morehead banquet thank-you notes to national television, the Loreleis' history portrays a stark contrast. Today's black-clad pop music songstresses are a far cry from the humble ballad-crooning beginnings. And it seems the traditional song that inspired the group's name is the only common thread.
But members both past and present seem to agree on the group's value to their lives. "There's nothing more wonderful than getting together with other people who love to sing," Bickley said.
Henry echoed these sentiments.
"It's a phenomenal experience," she said. "I wouldn't have spent my time at UNC any other way."
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