Introducing Sounds of Harmony: a Cappella with a mission

Marissa Nelson
April 20, 2017

The Vincentians founded DePaul with a mission of service, asking students, faculty and staff members one simple question: What must be done? Students organized Sounds of Harmony, a new a Cappella group on campus, as an answer to that question.

Senior Mykiliah Thompson wanted to add a diverse a Capella group on campus and noticed a need to motivate the youth of Chicago to reach higher academic goals. Combining her passion for singing and service, Thompson created Sounds of Harmony in May 2016.

Sounds of Harmony

On Feb. 9, the Sounds of Harmony performed at Thursday Nights at the Lounge. (Image courtesy of Sounds of Harmony)

Since the founding, Sounds of Harmony has grown to have more than 20 members. Though the organization is only nearing its first birthday, Thompson emphasizes they already feel like a family.

"Not only do we love to sing, but we also are based in service," she says.  

The a Cappella ensemble aims to inspire the youth of Chicago, specifically minorities and children of color, to include college in their plans for the future. To accomplish this initiative, Sounds of Harmony plans to regularly perform at local Chicago elementary and middle schools.

"Our mission makes us unique," says sophomore Sophie Giroux. "Mykiliah wanted us to have underlying values and a reason to perform."

As a member of the group, Giroux looks forward to further implementing the mission of service this quarter. Now that Sounds of Harmony has been established, the student members can begin to focus on what they came together to do.

Sounds of Harmony held its first concert on March 9 to a packed room of more than 100 audience members.

As a new organization on campus, support from the student body fueled Sounds of Harmony to work even harder during the spring quarter. The ensemble performed at SOUL: The EL Project on April 12, an annual event at DePaul organized to raise awareness about Chicago's creative and liberal arts community. They will performing at Vincentian Service Day on May 6.

When asked about the future of Sounds of Harmony, Thompson is still in awe of everything they have accomplished in their first year.

"In the beginning, I wanted us to be known, but I didn't have a detailed plan for what we would do next," Thompson says.  "I want us to be the best we can be, whatever that might mean for us."

Thompson notes the possibility of competing next year in the International Championship of Collegiate a Capella.

"We want to show children that it doesn't matter where you come from or what you've been through, you are able to make a better life for yourself," Thompson says.

To keep up with Sounds of Harmony, follow them on Facebook or on Instagram @dpusoundsofharmony.