When Holly Gyenes ’17 was tagged by friends in a casting post on Facebook, she did not expect to have a contract from Disney’s new a cappella group, D Cappella, in hand a few weeks later.
Gyenes earned a bachelor’s degree in music studies with a focus in vocals last year. She was a member of UD’s first pop a cappella group known as Remedy. Since graduation she has worked at McCutcheon Music, a music store and studio owned by her first-year guitar professor Jim McCutcheon, and performed with the Dayton-based, professional a cappella group Vocalight.
Now, Gyenes is joining D Cappella’s first cast and will travel across the United States performing contemporary arrangements of Disney songs.
“I always knew I wanted to pursue a career in music, but before Disney I was in a place in my life where I was questioning if I wanted to pursue Vocalight as a career or go to graduate school for music,” Gyenes said. “This offer from Disney assured me that I should go the performing route.”
Disney invited Gyenes to New York City after watching her video submission of Aretha Franklin’s “I Say a Little Prayer.” She went through two rounds of callbacks before flying to Los Angeles for what turned out to be her acceptance into the opening D Cappella cast.
“I thought L.A. was going to be a final callback, but when I noticed there were 14 of us I thought we were the cast, but also that some of us were understudies,” Gyenes said. “When they told us we were all main cast, I was over the moon.”
Gyenes has sang at Carnegie Hall, and opened for Grammy-winning artist Daya. However, going on tour will be a new experience.
“Traveling on a bus and touring is an experience I’ve never had before,” Gyenes said. “I think my biggest challenge will be building up the endurance to perform every night.”
Gyenes is excited for the challenge and eager to see where D Cappella will perform when tour dates are announced later this summer or early fall.