BAR acappella president jams to the Top 40, likes to knit
Liz Vonderhaar has been a member of Beyond All Reason, the Saint Louis University all-female a cappella group, since her freshman year. As the only senior and the longest standing member of BAR, she feels that she became the group’s president by default.
“I’ve been here for the longest of everyone and I was treasurer for two years before this, so I thought it was kind of my time,” Vonderhaar said. “I felt like I knew everything that needed to be known and it was time to take the stand.”
Vonderhaar began her singing career in high school, performing in both choir and school musicals. She really started loving singing in college, however, when she joined the a cappella group. Vonderhaar said the best parts of being in BAR have not only been the opportunities that performing has brought her, but also the friendships she’s made.
“We call it Beta Alpha Rho sometimes, because it feels like a sorority because we spend so much time together,” Vonderhaar said.
Since being a member of BAR, Vonderhaar has performed at Cardinals games, SLU events and at the Hyatt in downtown St. Louis.
“I get to go to some cool events that I wouldn’t have gotten to go to otherwise,” Vonderhaar said. “I get to go out into the city, get all dressed up and be with my girls. It’s great.”
Being president of an a cappella group is not without challenges, however. Vonderhaar said that she never anticipated the amount of work that falls on her to do.
“I’ll do all the booking of rooms and work with our sound people. We get a lot of emails, so I’m the main email answerer. There are a lot of communication things I do.”
In her time performing with BAR, Vonderhaar said her favorite performance the group has done was a 1990s television theme song medley.
“It was Full House, Boy Meets World, Fresh Prince, Friends and Saved by the Bell,” Vonderhaar said. “It was quite the repertoire.”
When not making her own music, Vonderhaar listens to the Top 40 songs of the day and folk music.
“One of my new, favorite bands is First Aid Kit. They’re kind of weird,” Vonderhaar said. “I also really like Mumford and Sons and have a secret love of Kesha. Reliant K is my other favorite. I’ve got a wide range.”
When she graduates, Vonderhaar said she is not positive about what she wants to do yet. She does have some ideas, however.
“I ‘d like to be like a Bill Nye the Science Guy or the Kratt brothers on PBS,” Vonderhaar said. “But if that can’t happen, I’m applying for jobs teaching English in Spain. I’ve been looking at flying helicopters in Alaska or something in informal education, like in a museum. I don’t really know what I want to do.”
In her free time, Vonderhaar enjoys knitting, writing poems for friends and taking long walks around St. Louis. She is also a fluent speaker of Ubbi Dubbi, a gibberish language in which the speaker puts and “ub” before every vowel, and is, by her own admission, a connoisseur of corny jokes.
“I’m constantly collecting jokes,” Vonderhaar said. “My favorite joke of all it is ‘Where can you find a zebra? Twenty-five letters after A, bra!”