Warm voices swallow people like a hug when listening to this all-women singer's ensemble.
Whether it's through singing or just their presence, the spirit and positivity brought with them is undeniable.
This group is called Voxology, one of Belmont University’s student ensembles on campus.
What makes this group special is it consists of all female vocalists who are commercial voice majors where they sing gospel and R&B music together with a band.
The group is also now the most followed group at Belmont on social media.
Voxology has 35 women vocalists and a band including drums, two keyboard players, two guitars, a bassist and a full horn section during showtime.
“We have tracks going like crazy harmonies and we also have a pretty tight band and then on top of that all together as a production is really top-notch,” said Ivan Sobek, a technological intern for Voxology.
This group is led by director and Belmont professor Brian Seay, who has been directing Voxology for two years.
Rehearsals are held for an hour a day three times a week.
This amount of time spent with each other has built their bonds stronger than ever.
“I feel like we’re all just family for real like I can’t imagine not seeing them three times a week now,” said Esther Okai-Tetteh, a junior at Belmont and her first year as a vocalist in Voxology.
For the band members, there is something about these rehearsals that is like an oasis.
“I don’t think there’s ever a day where someone is gonna come to Voxology mad and leave Voxology mad,” said Okai-Tetteh.
When walking into a rehearsal the women can be heard celebrating one another like it’s a big family reunion.
The room rings of sayings like “OKAY OUTFIT,” “omg you look so good today,” “It's so good to see you,” and “it's Vox time baby.”
The camaraderie and friendship between the members of Voxology is something that is not seen in a musical ensemble often, as competition can be fierce in the music industry.
“We are all equal, we are all on the same playing field we are all there for each other,” said Molly McCue, a senior and second-year participant in Voxology.
The members of Voxology have this mindset that the music they make together is something meaningful to them and others, so competition is not an obstacle in their way.
The tone of their voices in harmony sounds like they are all smiling at each other.
“It’s really special to be able to see how the music we’re playing is really affecting everyone in the crowd,” said Ben Harpster, the bassist for the band in Voxology.
Even when the women are not singing they are very attentive to the instrumentalists and the music that is being played.
Ensembles are usually more individually driven.
But Voxology has such a family-like support system, that they listen and enjoy the music together even when they are not singing.
“Being surrounded by kids that are super talented and eager to come to class every day and share their heart and things like that- it's been a great experience,” said Seay.
It’s almost not a rehearsal but a group of friends just jamming out together with how much joy and passion they show for the group and the music they produce.
This group has some real star quality, and in late October, it gained some attention for it.
On Oct. 30, Voxology posted a rehearsal video that blew up almost instantly, now having 10.2 million views.
As Voxology was preparing for its big gospel show in the Fisher Center, they recorded some of their rehearsals to post on social media, which they had done before gaining some following and some success.
“We were capturing content, and I thought it would be cool to post some of our behind-the-scenes before the show, and the day I posted it, it started picking up. After 2 days the numbers had skyrocketed,” said Seay.
The video featured the song “Rain” by R&B trio SWV, who have since reposted the video.
“Last year Voxlogy only had eighty-something followers and I think this would be cool to get more of a social media presence,” said Seay.
This attention from Instagram has brought on a lot of interest from students who want to participate next year and brings a lot of attention to Belmont Univeristy itself.
The day after the video was posted, the Instagram account had hit 10,000 followers, so Seay proposed making a video thanking the fans.
“Let’s do a post to thank them for 10k, after we posted that, that night we had about 18,000, and I was like ‘this is crazy’,” said Seay.
Its Instagram page has since reached 29,900 followers, being the most-followed ensemble on campus.
“Allowing the kids to enjoy being able to be a part of something so successful but also understanding humility is the foundation of it all,” said Seay.
Seay also has his own music career alongside being a director and professor at Belmont, where he has drawn from his success as a source and teaching moment for the women.
“I try and use it as an opportunity to give them exposure,” said Seay. “They have all these aspirations so I look at it as an opportunity to be able to give them insight as they are commercial voice majors.”
Voxology creates its own spiritual community with the messages it delivers through music, bringing in people from all over.
Gospel music is something that reaches a lot of hearts and brings a lot of attention to a Christian University like Belmont.
Seay told a story about a young female student hearing the group's rehearsal one day and coming in to tell them how blessed she felt to be hearing Voxology sing. The group then prayed over her.
“That was a pivotal moment for the group,” said Seay.
It’s moments like this that make Voxology so important and separates them from the other groups on campus.
The group's love for one another and the love for the messages they want to share.
“If I don’t wanna do anything else, I’m gonna go to Voxology because my spirit is going to be lifted,” said Okai-Tetteh.
The ensemble is a family, they respect one another listen to one another, and hold each other as equals to make the group successful.
“To see them grow as performers and even more so as a community that is bringing outside and connecting them outside, and seeing them spread the spirit of our class with other people,” said Seay.
This article was written by Joanna Walden