by Omkar Katta

It is crazy to think that the audition that changed my life happened four months ago already. Time flies when you’re having fun, and my first semester at Penn would not have been as fun as it was if not for Penn Singers. Surrounded by unfamiliarity, my naïve, first-semester freshman-self would never have imagined how much of a difference my Penn Singers family would have on me.

Now, I was given the chance to be involved in the process that changed my life not so long ago. At first, this responsibility of being on the audition committee seemed daunting. I essentially had the power to choose who becomes a part of my family, and so I entered the audition room in the same way I did four short months ago: a little nervous and a little overwhelmed. But I left the audition room with more clarity about the impact Singers has had on my life. 

As a member of this audition committee, I gained a new perspective: before I came to Penn, I have had many opportunities to audition people for a variety of clubs and performing groups, but back then, I had absolute control over the decisions because I was the only person in charge. Since I was on the audition committee with five other people, the burden of the decision was not solely on me. We deliberated, voted, and discussed, which was an advantage I did not have before. Being able to sit across from experienced Singers and listening to their points of views helped me realize why and how Penn Singers works.

By the end of auditions, I realized Singers isn’t just a democracy – it’s a family, one that takes care of all its members. That starts from the moment people walk into Platt 180 like I did not too long ago. These newbies sang their hearts out, and I am so glad I was on the committee that welcomed them. I can’t wait for them to realize what I did: to be accepted in Penn Singers is to be a part of a family, not just an extracurricular performing group on campus.