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Q&A: The Loreleis look forward to interacting with audience at upcoming shows

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The Loreleis, UNC’s premier upper voices a cappella group, meet to rehearse on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2023. The group has been performing since 1981.

As a cappella groups prepare for the upcoming season, The Daily Tar Heel's Mila Mascenik spoke with Abigail Paquin, the president of the Loreleis, as part of a series featuring each group on campus.

This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.

The Daily Tar Heel: How has your music style changed over the years?

Abigail Paquin: As a group, it’s definitely shifted. I think we've tried to intentionally incorporate more of a variety of genres, especially in recent years. We’ve done a lot more experimental songs. So, I would say a lot more indie songs from independent artists. 

Just because our group — we have such a wide array that we do — we try to vote in songs by genre, so we’ve expanded the types of genres that we do as well, so we don’t just do top 40 pop, but we also tried to do folk Americana, oldies, throwback songs, indie, that sort of thing. 

DTH: Where do you get inspiration for your songs from? 

Paquin: All of the songs that we do actually come from the suggestions of the people in the group. 

Throughout the semester, we send out a document — an Excel sheet — for everyone to fill out based on genre, and everyone submits suggestions for each genre, and then our music team narrows it down to around three songs per genre, and then we discuss them and choose one to vote in. 

DTH: I saw that you’ve been featured on the CBS Sunday Morning Show and performed at the White House, among other honors. Of these experiences, which has been your favorite and why? 

Paquin: I mean, given that I’ve personally only been in the group for three years — I came in the first year after COVID, so our experiences have definitely been halted.

But from what I’ve heard, the experiences like performing at the White House, performing on the Jay Leno show, different stuff like that have been really exciting. 

We’ve done a lot of local gigs as well that have been really fun — many, many events for the University. So, some fun events in local community environments. 

DTH: What can audiences expect to see at your annual Fall Jam show? 

Paquin: Definitely lots of singing, but I think our set does a really good job at showing the variety of talent in our group. 

There’s a lot of different styles that we do, some pop songs, we do some country, we have some R&B choices — there’s a large variety in the set. 

Some songs are more well known than others, so there’s definitely an aspect of surprise and knowing what songs we’ll be doing. 

But yeah, definitely a lot of fun, a lot of singing, a lot of entertainment. 

The energy at our concerts is always really fun. We always love our audiences. They make it what it is; the audience really makes the concert really, really special for us. 

DTH: What would you say makes you stand out from other a cappella groups on campus? 

Paquin: We are the oldest upper voices a cappella group on campus. We’re UNC’s premiere upper voices a cappella group, meaning that we were the first. 

We’ve been around for 42 years now, and it’s been really sweet to watch the tradition continue over the years. 

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I think something that I’ve come to appreciate during my time in this group is just how talented the overall a cappella community group is and how supportive the different groups are of each other. 

I would say what makes Loreleis different is the beauty of it being all female-identifying and the sisterhood we’ve created; we’re seriously such a family, genuinely such a family, and it’s great to share that onstage with other women and to perform with them. 

DTH: Are you currently working on any new music or an album? 

Paquin: We have an album coming out next spring and an anticipated EP coming out before the album, so probably sometime this winter. 

That one is more tentative, but we are working toward an album that will be out this spring, so we are very excited about that. 

We do have music that came about two years ago; it’s our EP called "Somewhere Between," that was really fun to work on. 

For a lot of us, it was really encompassing of our beginning years as a group, for me at least, and so it’s been sweet to continue recording with the group. Definitely has become something that has become one of my favorite things to do. 

The Loreleis' Fall Jam is on Nov. 17 in the Frank Porter Graham Student Union at 7 p.m.

@milaaamascenik

@dthlifestyle | lifestyle@dailytarheel.com