Frequently Asked Questions
Here's a list of frequently asked questions about Jubilation!. If you have a question that hasn't been answered adequately, feel free to send us an email.
What does Jubilation! even mean?
Our name Jubilation! comes from the Bible verse, Psalm 98:4, “Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music” (emphasis added). As a Christian a cappella group, we aim to glorify God and bring joy to others.
What kind of music do you sing?
We sing a variety of Christian a cappella music, ranging from traditional hymns, contemporary worship music, to gospel songs. Occasionally, we adapt the lyrics to secular songs, like Stevie Wonder's Isn't She Lovely, to convey a Christian message. For a sampling of the type of music we sing, check our our Repertoire page and YouTube channel.
Who can join Jube? Do you have to be a particular type of Christian or an experienced singer?
No matter how new to the faith you may be, or whether your faith has been and continues to be marginalized by the Christian mainstream, as long as you believe that Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior (or are actively seeking to develop such a relationship with Jesus), you belong. Jubilation! is a body of believers who share the belief of the power of praise. That said, we believe that in order to meaningfully praise God, each of us needs to be rooted in a personal and ongoing relationship with the object of our praise: God. That is why we dedicate an hour each week to honest prayer and sharing: we want to be support one another in our faith journeys. However, while the Jubilation! family can offer one another support, it cannot replace the church. Hence, we urge all our members to find a church they call home, and would be more than happy to bring you to our own church. Many of us also attend campus fellowship groups such as InterVarsity, Christian Union, and Reformed University Fellowship.
With regards to musical training, we accept members of a whole spectrum musical backgrounds—some had experience with singing but not with reading sheet music, others played another instrument but had zero singing experience, and others still had no musical training and picked it up slowly over multiple rehearsals. We try our best to meet our members where they are, by providing audio clips that members can practice with alongside sheet music as well as ample sectional/soloist practice time during rehearsals. That said, an ability to match and hold pitch, feel rhythm, and sing a solo line would be very useful.
I'm afraid of commitment :( What's the commitment like?
We believe that you, potential Jubie, "can do all things through Christ who strengthens [you]" (Philippians 4:13). But we also know that you are the best judge of your proverbial plate, so here's some information to help you make a more informed decision. Warning: Potential information overload ahead, feel free to email us if you have any questions!
Each semester, we do two uniquely Jubilation! performances: a Study Break and a longer Concert. Our rehearsals are twice a week, on Wednesdays from 9-11pm and Sundays from 7-10pm (subject to change depending on members' schedules). On average, we meet up for 5 to 7 hours a week, and practice our music individually for ½ to 1 hour a week. We learn quite a bit of music each semester (up to 14 songs over 16-18 weeks), but about 25% of it is carried over from previous concerts.
Outside of our own concerts, we also have smaller gigs. Twice a month on Friday evening, we invite other students to jam to worship songs with us in a relaxed, cozy atmosphere. In the Spring semester, we travel to Boston one weekend in late March to sing with other Christian a cappella groups at Break It Down Boston*. Finally, when we get the chance, we love to collaborate with other groups, such as Pizmon (the Jewish a cappella group), Gospel Choir, and CU SUR (the South Asian fusion a cappella group) to hold inter-faith / intercultural concerts.
In terms of monetary commitment, we try to minimize the amount that our members have to spend out-of-pocket by holding most of our gatherings on campus and making the most of our club funds. For instance, for the trip to Boston in the Spring, we cover our members' round-trip bus tickets and accommodation. In cases where members are required to make out-of-pocket contributions—potluck dinners, Secret Angel gift exchanges, purchasing concert attire, to name a few—we are very flexible and are more than willing to work out alternatives with members who might find it a financial burden.
We sincerely hope that Jubilation! can add, not subtract from your faith journey in college, and we're absolutely committed to work through any circumstances that might get in the way of that. In the past, we've worked around conflicts in members' schedules and subsidized members' club-related expenses. Ask, and it shall be given you! :-)
*Break It Down Boston is a gathering of 16 Christian a cappella groups in Northeastern United States. I (Melissa) find it especially fun because everyone at the event is so supportive, plus you get to make friends and exchange experiences with people from different groups! It's probably one of my favorite parts of being in Jubilation!, not gonna lie.
COVID-19 Update: The only commitments you will be expected to honor until Columbia deems it safe for all students to return to campus are attending Zoom rehearsals two times per week, and practicing and recording your own part (audio/video) for the semester's virtual concert.
I'm down! What's the audition process like?
We try to keep the audition process as friendly and low-stress as possible, even for those who have never auditioned for a singing group before. It takes anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes, and involves:
a 1-page questionnaire about yourself;
a simple vocal warm up to determine your voice part;
a fun blending exercise where you sing a taught part in a quartet of current members; and
singing a prepared 30-second solo (it doesn't have to a Christian song, and you don't have to sing it from memory).
Once the audition season ends, we'll let all auditionees know our decision, and those accepted are invited to attend the very next Sunday rehearsal! Fret not, at that point, you are not expected to make a full commitment yet; over the next few weeks, you will get a feel for what it's like to be in Jube! as we share the group's vision with you and build community agreements together.
If, unfortunately, you decide that Jubilation! isn't for you, we request that you let us know your decision as soon as possible. Lock-In, the near/on-campus retreat that usually takes place a month into the semester, would be the latest date to let us know of this decision. Past Lock-In, we hope that members will try their best to stay in Jubilation! for the rest of the semester, and we look forward to building a collective group culture in which each member is supported and loved.
Please note that former Jube! members need to go through the same audition process in order to be re-admitted into Jube!.
COVID-19 Update: All auditions will be conducted virtually via Zoom, and in collaboration with Columbia ACBC.
I'm a Master's or exchange student. Can I join too? 😄
Absolutely, why not! Although the group is largely made up of students from the four undergraduate colleges, Master's and exchange students are more than welcome to join. In the past, we've had students from Teacher's College, and most recently, an exchange student from London sing with us (love you both to pieces!) If the rehearsal time doesn't line up with your schedule—for instance, it conflicts with your work/class schedule—we are more than willing to find a solution that works for most/all members. Sometimes, it might mean that you might need to practice your music at home more, but if you don't mind making the compromise, it usually works out. When there's a will, there's a way!
When and where can I see Jubilation! perform?
Aww, you're too sweet, fan-mily ☺️ You can check out our Events page or our Facebook page for upcoming performances, or our Music page for past performances. If you're interested to have us perform at your event, please send us an email at email@example.com. Please note that we don't perform at private functions like weddings or birthdays, but we do deliver Valentines Jubygrams! We'll be posting a link to our order form in a couple weeks, so keep your eyes peeled! Till then, have a lovely day.
COVID-19 Update: Until further notice, we will have one concert per semester (and virtual Jubygrams in Spring) in a produced virtual concert, published on YouTube!