Every girl deserves to belong to a sisterhood. For thirteen girls, a sisterhood was created in Ladies First, Lesley University’s all female a cappella group. Founded in the spring of 2014 by Emma Chavenson and Taylor Casey, Ladies First has transformed from a small group of five girls to a dynamic and talented group of thirteen. I have had the privilege of being a part of this group for almost two years and have witnessed how the group has grown in such talent, strength, love, and support. This semester is a special one for Ladies First so I decided to sit down and speak to members of the group, to hear about their experiences and to discuss the exciting upcoming show.
“Ladies First is literally a giant family. We can work hard, get stuff done, but at the end of the day we’re one big support group,” said Taylor Copeland, a sophomore. “I’ve made so many friends, people I’d probably never meet outside of Ladies First because of our mixed interests and backgrounds.” Tayla Santos, a senior, has been a part of Ladies First since she was a sophomore. Today, she is both the President and music director. “I feel like the group grows in confidence, talent and sisterhood each semester,” she said. “If someone would have told me I would be the president of an all girls a cappella group in college, I would have been terrified. However, being the president of Ladies First is a beautiful experience for me. It’s teamwork. With the talent that is present in the group, I never have to do anything alone!”
Cecelia Fioriello, the assistant music director, agrees that there is growth each semester. She said, “Since I was a freshman, the group has grown with new girls each semester and new E-board members being elected, who have fresh visions for each semester. It is incredible to be a part of a group that values the ideas of all members, who are willing to try new things and work on pieces until they are something we all can be proud of.” She then spoke about some of the challenges the group has overcome– such as not having music to practice with. She said, “Our group faced challenges last semester with getting music, which left us with no new music to learn and although it was upsetting, we all came together to use that time as growth.” The group even took that time to learn a whole song by ear, just from listening to it on Youtube!
Tayla Santos added, “Even when a show gets cancelled, or things don’t always go as planned musically, we always remember that we are a sisterhood first; that we are friends before we are performers.” Michaela Swift has been a member of Ladies first for nearly three years. She now serves as the vice president and secretary of the group. “I don’t have siblings so this is the closest I have ever come,” said Michaela. “I love these girls more than I ever thought possible.”
Kenzie Moniz is also a member on Eboard for the first time this year, serving as the social media coordinator. “I’ve really enjoyed the transition of going from member to e-board, because when you are on e-board you get to really see what happens behind the scenes. Now I am so much more aware of the logistics behind what makes our music come together..It’s a process, but it is always so rewarding and worth it in the end!”
This semester, Ladies First is stepping it up with a theme for the end of the year show; something that the group has never done. Taylor Copeland explains, “This year’s show is all about the ladies – only fitting, since we’re called Ladies First. We chose songs that are empowering, focusing on one’s written and performed by women. In a male dominated music industry, it’s important to recognize and promote female artists. If you come to a Ladies First show, expect girl power.” Michaela Swift added, “The meanings behind the songs are very important to each of our girls. We plan to make it a fun show with a mix of group songs, solos, and duets.”
Cecelia Fioriello concluded by saying, “ I am lucky enough to create music with twelve of the most genuine girls I know, who fiercely radiate beauty through their personalities, voices, and passion. We have worked hard all semester to create this show to share our songs with everyone and would love for people to come support us!”
Ladies First will be holding their end of the year showcase on Friday May 5th at 8:30 pm in Marran Theater on the Doble campus. It’s free of charge. No ticket required. For any inquiries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The executive board members of Ladies First are: Tayla Santos, Michaela Swift, Kenzie Moniz, Julia Bosco, and Cecelia Fioriello. Other members include Taylor Copeland, Ashley Vaughan, Audrey Barnes, Taylor Burnett, Lia Applebaum, Marlene Krueger, Elyssa Glassman, and Kirsten Bond.