University of Maryland PandemoniUM

Interviews

What’s your group name and on what date is your group’s quarterfinal?

Our group’s name is PandemoniUM and our quarterfinal is February 4th at the University of Maryland’s Dekelboum Concert Hall.
 
 How long has your group been around? Have you competed before?

We have been around for 21 years now, and have competed several times in the ICCAs. In 2010, when we were still in the South region, we advanced to the semifinal round and received a special award of Outstanding Arrangement (alumni Alex Brown and Suzanne DeStio) for a mashup of Chicago by Sufjan Stevens and Clocks by Coldplay. In 2014, again in the South region, Pandemonium placed third in our Quarterfinal, with alumnus Alex Moss taking the award for Outstanding Vocal Percussion.

More recently, last year, Pandemonium placed first in our Quarterfinal, with special awards for Outstanding Soloist (alumna Valen Gordon singing “Weight in Gold”) and Outstanding Choreography for the entire set (alumna Tiffany Bamdad and current member Taylor Sheely). We then advanced to the Mid-Atlantic Semifinal, where we placed Third overall, winning another special award for Outstanding Choreography. 

 
Why are you competing this year? What does your group hope to accomplish or get out of the experience?

Last year we really found our niche as a group, and this year we hope to hone our music making and storytelling skills even further. While of course we want to do well in the competition, one of our main focuses as a group is making the audience feel something - the emotional impact of our set is the most important thing to us (but advancing in the competition doesn’t hurt). 

How is your group preparing for competition?

Since our quarterfinal is so close to the start of our school year, we’ll be meeting every day for 2 weeks, starting before school, to prepare for our quarterfinal. Our goal is to spend most of our rehearsal process polishing parts and choreography rather than learning parts, as our arranging will be done before the start of our rehearsals.
 
If you were to describe your group, or the set your group is planning for competition with just three words, what would they be?

The three words we would use to describe our group are “eclectic,” “unique,” and “family.”

You can follow PandemoniUM at their website at Pandemoniumumd.com.