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Cross Products Not So Harsh

I was disappointed with Keith J. Winstein’s treatment of the Cross Products in his article about a capella groups [“A Capella Groups Span Spectrum”] in last Friday’s Tech. His article could seriously offend some of the wonderful people that auditioned for the group this year and in the past. He quoted me, without even bothering to ask my name, as saying, “We’re not harsh -- if somebody’s bad, we just say, ‘Oh, that person wasn’t meant for a capella.’”

What he failed to mention was the reaction of my fellow group members to my words. I made the statement in a light-hearted sarcastic manner, but my friends immediately scolded me. Our group has never said such an untactful thing about anyone, and we never will. We try to conduct our discussions in a loving and gentle way, even when the auditionees are nowhere around. I apologize to anyone I may have hurt with my thoughtless words.

Keith responded to me in his article, saying, “This seemed pretty harsh to me, at least coming from the Cross Products. God didn’t make everyone for a capella? Dude.” While God did give almost everyone a voice with which to sing, he did not in fact make everyone equally talented at a capella singing. This isn’t harsh, it’s just the way God, who makes no mistakes, decided things should be. What a boring world it would be if everyone were the same. Instead, he gave some abilities to some people, and other abilities to others. Many of the people who auditioned for us this year had a sincere desire to serve God and other people. They wanted to join a group that shared the love of Christ with others, and we would have loved to accept every one of them.

However, we have a reason to require a certain level of musical proficiency. We want to form a group that can learn a great deal of music in a relatively short time. Like the Logs and other groups mentioned in the article, who are very professional in their time-tested audition processes, we try to be at once tactful, loving, and selective. Some people, while still talented, are even more gifted in other areas and should pursue opportunities to use those gifts.

Daniel Wendel ’05
Cross Products co-director