Ohio State of Mind is a group built from two things that are quintessential to the 21st century: friendship and a cappella.
Founded in 2010, the co-ed, noninstrumental music group strives to create a friendly environment and musical outlet for its members. Abby Coggins, a fourth-year in choral music education and president of Ohio State of Mind, discussed how being a part of the “fun and easygoing” group has benefited her.
“The practices every week are a mental break for me where I just get to hang out with my favorite people while also making high-quality music,” she said.
Morgan Tudor, Ohio State of Mind’s business manager and a fourth-year in middle childhood education, also touched on the strong sense of companionship that binds the group together.
“As someone who loves to sing, I obviously love the musical expression that I get to have through the group, but nothing keeps me coming back more than the friends I’ve made during my three years with (Ohio State of Mind),” she said.
Ohio State of Mind performs pop music, an aspect that member Michael McMasters, a second-year in music education, thoroughly enjoys because of its variance from the traditional music he encounters in his studies.
“It’s given me a nice release of music that doesn’t really pertain to my major,” he said. “I do a lot of classical stuff for the school of music, and (Ohio State of Mind) does more pop songs.”
Ohio State of Mind puts on several concerts throughout the year, often collaborating with other a cappella groups like the Scarlet and Grace Notes and University of Pittsburgh’s C Flat Run. Concerts are always free and open to everyone.
In addition to concerts, the group competes in a cappella competitions twice a year: the SingStrong competition in Chicago, where a cappella organizations from across the country participate to raise money for Alzheimer’s research, and the International Competition for Collegiate A Cappella, which Coggins said is the “big competition” Ohio State of Mind works toward.
McMasters said competing in the ICCA’s last year was one of his favorite memories of being a part of Ohio State of Mind.
“It was a really cool thing to be able to put ourselves out there and see the work that we did pay off,” he said.
Coggins said that while she hopes the group provides an opportunity for members to improve their musicianship, creating a sense of camaraderie within Ohio State of Mind is an equally important goal she has for the group. She herself claims to have met some of her best friends through the organization.
“In the end, we strive to be a group of friends who also love to make music,” she said.
More information about Ohio State of Mind, including concert dates, can be found on its Facebook page.