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Clarkson University A Cappella Group Hits High Note in Albany

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Clarkson University's a cappella singing group, the Golden Knotes, hit a high note at the "A Cappella Innovations" workshop December 1-2 in Albany, N.Y. Designed as a forum for sharing ideas and building unity among a cappella groups of all varieties, the weekend workshop offered professional instruction, constructive judging and renowned performances. The Golden Knotes were among only 12 collegiate groups invited to attend, many of whom are highly acclaimed.golden knotes

The Clarkson group had the opportunity to hear feedback from a panel of highly touted, celebrity panelists during a judging session designed to give specific, performance-related feedback. Despite the fact that academic obligations limited the number of choir attendees to just 11 out of 20, the Golden Knotes were a hit among the judges.

The judges loved us, using phrases like they 'hadn't seen another group be so honest and genuine,' and 'very entertaining,' that we were 'so cute' and they 'wanted to pinch our cheeks,' said Erica Decker, vice president of the Golden Knotes. "The judges also said that we performed typical a cappella songs that they hear over and over again, but that we made them our own."

The charming performance earned the Golden Knotes an invitation to perform in the public performance that evening. One of only three groups selected, the Golden Knotes were the opening act for the House Jacks, the world-famous "rock band without instruments."

The judges said we brought something to the judging that no one else had, said Riley. "Our group was shocked and humbled to be chosen to be part of the night's festivities."

Departing early Saturday morning, the Knotes missed only the morning workshops, arriving just in time for the judging panel.

It was a once in a lifetime experience, said Decker. "It proved to our members what hard work and a close-knit group of friends can accomplish. With the feedback we received and the new techniques we learned in the workshops, we can improve even more."

The Golden Knotes members are graduate student Greg M. Linder, Charles, Ill.; seniors Steven A. Gnade, Sanford, Maine.; Courtney R. Grayson, Marion, N.Y.; Ryan B. Miller; Casey C. O'Hara, Huntington, Vt.; juniors Nicole K. Intschert, Sackets Harbor, N.Y.; Courtney E. Riley, Raymond, N.H.; sophomores Elsbeth D. Adams, Evans Mills, N.Y.; Juan A. Barbosa, Walworth, N.Y.; Erica J. Decker, Kerhonkson, N.Y.; Nicole S. Etzel, Bloomfield, N.Y.; Carson J. Smith, Rochester, N.Y.; Suzanne M. Van Arsdale, Castile, N.Y.; Devin J. Woodward, Spencerport, N.Y.; and freshmen Ann Marie "Sharlini" Selva, Danbury, Conn.; Caitlin A. Emro, Norwalk, Conn.; and Camille C. Ricks, East Elmhurst, N.Y.

Clarkson University, located in Potsdam, New York, is a private, nationally ranked university with a reputation for developing innovative leaders in engineering, business, the sciences, health sciences and the humanities. At Clarkson, 3,000 high-ability students excel in an environment where learning is not only positive, friendly and supportive but spans the boundaries of traditional disciplines and knowledge. Faculty members achieve international recognition for their research and scholarship and connect students to their leadership potential in the marketplace through dynamic, real-world problem solving.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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