Michael Arellano was part of the TV show “Sing It On” which can be watched on Netflix. The show follows college students as they battle it out at a cappella competitions and try to win the ICCA finals.
The Playbill Collector (TPC): How did you get your start singing?
Michael Arellano (MA): I started in elementary school. I wanted to start younger than I was allowed to. People were supposed to start in third grade but we weren’t supposed to I started playing piano. In middle school I played the oboe. In high school one of my main goals was to get in show choir. I got in as a freshman which was not the norm. It was mostly only for juniors and seniors. In high school I was heavily involved with musical theater, marching band and music.
TPC: Did you go to college for music?
MA: I majored in instrumental music because the oboe is my primary instrument. FSU was the only school I applied to.
TPC: How did you get into a cappella?
MA: A teacher friend of mine encouraged me because I missed performing. I chose the group “All Night Yahtzee” because everyone was fun. The year I started, it was only three returning members and twelve new people. I was an abrupt person with the musical decisions and I didn’t like the way it was run. I decided I was going to start taking over and that wasn’t well received at first.
TPC: What year did you become the music director?
MA: My sophomore year. This is my third year directing. Now I’m doing music production for the year.
TPC: What’s your favorite moment (when directing)?
MA: When something comes together and the group gets really excited about it.
TPC: What’s the hardest thing about being music director?
MA: Working with your peers. In a way it’s supposed to be fun but you have to be professional. Balancing being liked and in charge is hard.
TPC: Do you have any rituals before a show?
MA: This year we have seven new members so it’s different. This is the first time we have performed together so. “Dice or die” is our chant we say. We are pretty relaxed before rehearsals. It’s more about focus.
TPC: What about attire?
MA: We pretty much change every single time. We like looking trendy so we change often. For So Jam (our most recent competition) we have three outfits: yoga outfits, trendy street clothes and black/white for the third set. We are a dramatic group in that way. We are like A cappella musical theater.
TPC: Anything else you want to add?
MA: I’m not as much of a b*tch as I appear to be on tv!
To learn more about “Sing It On”, check out: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3831518/
To follow Michael on Twitter: https://twitter.com/mialeahcim