Despite a laundry list of awards and achievements acquired throughout their existence, the current membership of On the Rocks (OTR), the all-male a cappella sensation hailing from the University of Oregon, feel a deep sense of pride in their most recent accomplishment. Calling themselves “Gen 3,” due to the fact that they are the first generation of OTR comprised entirely of non-original members, they finished this past school year by winning a Western Quarterfinal bracket of the International Championship of Collegiate A cappella (ICCA).
For the last two years, OTR garnered third place rankings, and business manager Nick Firth feels they could have faired better. Their most recent turn at competition resulted in the sort of success the group sought. “Winning best arrangement, and best choreography, that was really a key goal that this group accomplished in the last year,” he said.
The newer, energized nature of their membership is a key factor in making a group that is completely focused on musical achievement and friendship before anything else, according to Firth.
“We’re comfortable with each other, we’ve been together for 4 years and have come to know each other musically,” he said. “We know how far we can go and can really work on musicality without feeling like we’re stepping on anyone’s toes – we’re all best friends who like to sing together.”
Solidifying an OTR all their own has brought the group a newfound sense of unity, a sense that has also acted as a catalyst for large-scale future plans. Although the group released a CD in the Spring of 2008, they are looking to release another by Spring of 2010 – with a couple of tracks already laid down. In addition, they hope to tour the east coast that semester, bringing their voices and vigor to major cities such as Boston and New York.