Jeremy Mani, ’18
College of Arts and Science
College can be an overwhelming experience. In the swirl of planning your classes, being pre-med for at least one semester, figuring out to do with your life, making friends with everyone on your floor and changing your mind just as fast, and just trying to adjust to not living at home, it’s hard to find a place or a group that grounds you and keeps you stable. You need to find your family, your home-away-from-home. A cappella has been that for me. My group, Harmonic Notion, is a co-ed a cappella group filled to the brim with crazy, funky, weird, quirky, intelligent, kind, and overall incredibly talented people. And before everything else, we are a family. An overcommitted, over-zealous, slightly dysfunctional family—but a family nonetheless.
Music has been one of the most important aspects of my life. As a pre-med student, the calm and beauty of making music with people distracts me from all the carbons I have to draw and mechanisms I need to memorize. To make something beautiful with a group of people I love to be with gives me a sense of satisfaction that memorizing every step of cellular metabolism just doesn’t quite do. There’s a certain magic that rings through the air for seconds after a chord. It reverberates not just throughout a room but also throughout one’s body, sending shivers down one’s spine. I love sharing this beauty with people. I have a routine at school, and my favorite part of it is having rehearsal every Sunday and every Wednesday. During the good times and during the bad, my group has always been there for me. Harmonic Notion quickly became so much more than just a place for music as my first year transitioned into my second year, which quickly ran into my third year here at Vandy. It could simultaneously be a refuge of calm from the storm of academics, but also an escape from the dull drab lull of life sometimes. And the coolest part of it all? We sounded damn good. And I mean who doesn’t love the applause from the crowd and the cheers of how good we sounded and how talented we were?
Performances have the thrill of the stage combined with the glory of absolutely nailing a song. I’ve gotten to sing the national anthem at a Predator’s game. I’ve gotten to collaborate with someone of the most talented vocal musicians in the entire nation. But I’ve also been able to sing for service organizations, for sick children, and for appreciative elderly.
Harmonic Notion has been so special to me because it has truly been a constant uplift on my life. It’s a place where along with my other very talented members, I can complete something and complete something spectacular regardless of what the song may be. So on those days where I’m feeling high and mighty, Harmonics has only lifted me to even greater heights. And when the struggles kicked in and life got a bit harder to handle—guess who was there for me? My family. Every Sunday and every Wednesday night at rehearsals and any minute I ever needed them in between.