“Long story short, the callback was beautiful," Reynoso Marmolejos said. "Going to the other auditions and callbacks, I was like, ‘This is not the vibe I”m going for.' I didn’t feel like I could express my voice, but in Cadence I think that’s what really drew me in.”
Cadence prides itself on being diverse and invites women of all different races, sexualities, majors, ethnicities and backgrounds to audition, said President Holland Page.
“I think that the thing that is so special about Cadence is that we are so completely different from each other — I really don’t think I would know a single person in Cadence had I not auditioned for the group,” Page said. “We’re all in different majors, different classes and I feel like we each bring a uniqueness to the group, which is awesome, because it’s also one of the most supportive groups of friends I’ve had at Carolina.”
Member Madison Dyson, a biomedical engineering major, said Cadence is the artistic escape from the lab and classroom that she needs.
“It is dramatically different from what I’m doing on a day to day basis in the classroom,” Dyson said. “You know, I’m stressed out from school, getting bogged down by all the work of UNC, so it’s just really nice to have an outlet to express myself artistically.”
Along with being an a cappella group, Cadence is a social justice group that works with many local nonprofits. For the past few years, Cadence has been working closely with the Orange County Rape Crisis Center, Reynoso Marmolejos said.
“Since we are a group of all women, I feel like, not that we have an advantage, but we can place ourselves in the OCRCC’s vision,” Reynoso Marmolejos said. “One of our members, Molly, wrote a song called ‘Stand as One’ specifically for the OCRCC and we performed it for them — it was very moving. So, we’re definitely being advocates against sexual violence.”
Many of Cadence’s gigs surround female empowerment and uplifting women within the community. A favorite of the group was Take Back the Night, Reynoso Marmolejos said.
“It was just a dinner where we sang 'Praying' by Kesha, and it was one of the most empowering gigs I’ve ever been to,” Reynoso Marmolejos said. “I was almost in tears by the end of it, because you could just feel how moved everyone was in the room, and we were personally moved too.”
Simpson said she hopes by performing at these events with Cadence and spreading its core message that other women are inspired to use their voices.
“You don’t always feel comfortable sharing your voice with others, let alone your opinions, so I think being able to have a platform and a group of people that all identify with you, have shared backgrounds, similar struggles is very important, especially in college,” Simpson said. “Cadence is a staple for my college experience right now, and it’s definitely what’s gotten me through.”
By encouraging female voices and the empowerment of women across campus, ideals are challenged and traditional gender roles are confronted and dismantled, Page said.
“We feel that it’s important to have a space for people who identify as women, because the whole world is made up of spaces intended for men,” Page said. “To have a place where you feel really welcome and supported and empowered is incredibly important.”
Cadence not only hopes to encourage women in the community to speak up and be strong, but the group also wants to challenge the stereotypes of a cappella, which can be seen as prestigious and exclusive, said Simpson.
“Sometimes there’s this prestige with a cappella groups that may come because 'Pitch Perfect' was not really good, so people may have this really weird idea about it,” Simpson said. "We’re here to bring happiness, positivity and our music to the community and hopefully touch others with that energy and raise them up in the same way that we strive to raise each other up.”