Despite being called “Mediocre Melodies,” there is nothing average about Cornell’s only comedy-acapella club –– an organization premised solely on enthusiasm for singing that has rapidly gained campus-wide popularity since its start in 2018.
Andrew Greene ’20 founded the club as a fun, inclusive and casual space for students to step out of their comfort zones.
“How much of a bummer would it be to be cut from a mediocre melody group? If you showed up, you [were] basically in,”In 2018, Green spoke to The Sun.
The group received 120 new applications in this semester, and had to reject 109.
Jack Callard ’22, president of Mediocre Melodies for the past two years, noted that the club could not physically host 120 new members or foster strong personal relationships between them effectively. He expressed gratitude for the interest of so many students.
“Every application means a lot to me, to Andrew and to everybody in the group,”Callard said.
While Cornell clubs aim to foster a sense of community among its members, regardless of shared goals or interests, Mediocre Melodies offers something different. It aims to provide a safe space for all, not just a sense of community.
After Seanie Clark ’23 encouraged her entire high school to audition for their senior year musical, the theater department at her school thanked her with a rejection. Despite her love for music, she was the only one who was not cut from the musical.
“I’m not talented and I never have been,”Clark said. “I’m terrified to sing and terrible at it, but I love it.”
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Clark was a freshman at Cornell when Mediocre Melos gave her a place where she could celebrate the music that made her happy. Clark performs in concerts every semester with her fellow club members and rehearses one week per week.
Last year’s concert took place over Zoom and the theme was “Revenge.” The Mediocre Melodies sang songs on trend: Aly & AJ’s Potential Breakup Song and Carrie Underwood’s Before He Cheats.
Their shows are musical but also include comedy bits and a section where audience members pay to have their friends serenaded. All proceeds from performances go to charities in Tompkins County. Revenge concert proceeds went towards the Ithaca Free Clinic.
Eitan Wolf ’21 described the club as “one of the best ideas that someone has had on a campus.” He credited it with improving his experience of Cornell’s culture. Wolf transferred from Oregon State University and tried twice before joining Cornell last spring.
He stated that even though it was difficult to practice online during the initial stages of the pandemic he felt the club provided him with a sense of belonging.
Reflecting on why the club has become so popular, Callard said that students appreciate time away from Cornell’s serious atmosphere to have fun.
”People are applying to Mediocre Melodies not because it’s going to look good on their resume or help them get somewhere, but because it’s something that they really want to do,” Callard said.
Correction: Sept. 30, at 2:33 p.m. A previous version of this article inaccurately stated the university from which Eitan Wolf ’21 transferred. Wolf transferred from Oregon State University to Ohio State University. This has been corrected.