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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Music lovers promise eclectic, Redefined set

Redefined, the University of Wisconsin’s premier co-ed a cappella group, retunes music on campus with its dynamic sound and wide range of vocal styles. The group plans to give all profits from its end-of-semester concert at the Overture Center for the Arts this Friday to the Wisconsin Foundation for School Music, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and continuing musical education in Wisconsin schools.

Grace Graszer, Redefined’s business manager, said she always wanted the group to give back to the Wisconsin music community.

“All of Redefined’s members were involved in music in some way during high school and those experiences got us where we are today as members of Redefined,” Graszer said.


Kelly Nelson, Redefined’s music director, says she’s most excited for the show because of all the new directions the group is testing out.

“We have a new sound setup that will make our sound bigger and better than ever,” Nelson said. “We’ve never been this prepared to sing and perform an amazing show.”

With a set list featuring artists ranging from Justin Timberlake to the Rolling Stones and Etta James, Redefined has something for all music fans.

“We like to pride ourselves in having an eclectic set list and repertoire,” said Sam Fleischman, a sophomore member of the group. “We sing songs that are on the radio right now and that were written 75 years ago. We like to give people a little bit of everything.”

According to Graszer, part of Redefined’s versatility comes from being co-ed.

“We can make music in a complex way that utilizes both male and female voices,” Graszer said.

Having high-pitched, falsetto voices from female members along with the bass from the men makes a more full and interesting sound, Fleischman said.

“Not only do we get a greater vocal range, but we have a unique opportunity to do guy-girl duets that many other a cappella groups on campus can’t do,” Nelson said.

Redefined is able to accomplish all this despite being entirely student-run by nonmusic majors.

“We take six hours out of our week to practice singing together,” said Graszer. “It makes for a really close-knit group of friends who have quite different personalities, but are linked by a love of music.”

In order to run smoothly, the group is run democratically. Song selection is an ongoing process, and every song Redefined performs is self-arranged by members.

According to Nelson, when considering songs to arrange, members look for pieces that are catchy but not too repetitive. Songs must have a variety of parts that sound as good performed only using voices.

After a member arranges a song, they can present it during one of the rehearsals laid out for song submissions. Everyone in the group then votes on their favorite, and the submission with the most votes wins.

“There are no executive decisions when it comes to what songs we want to sing,” Fleischman said.

During the voting process, members try to look at songs objectively to determine whether the song will add something to their set list.

“If we have a lot of slow ballads, we would most likely choose an upbeat song that can help diversify our song list,” Graszer said. “We also think about songs in terms of their prime audience, and then we try to have a least one song that will please every subset of our audience.”

Although the performance at the Overture Center is one of Redefined’s biggest performance of the year, it’s far from their only one. Graszer books the group’s gigs, averaging about one per week.

“We want to expand a cappella’s overall fan base, so performing for people who have never heard of a cappella is actually really fun for us,” Graszer said. “It’s always been part of my mission as business manager to give back to the community, so I especially look for performances for charities or non-profits as well as events for the university.”

In addition to weekly gigs, Redefined has released six studio albums since the group’s debut in 2001. Their latest album, Inside Out, was released last fall and is available on iTunes and Spotify.

According to Redefined President Jack Angell, the group will be recording their seventh studio album next summer and hinted that a Christmas EP could be in the works.

“Redefined came from an idea of adding something totally new to the campus’ a cappella community, and we want to continue that tradition,” Graszer said. “We’re always looking for new ways to innovate: in our music, our stage presence and the types of performances and events we take part in.”

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