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A cappella may have roots in old-fashioned traditions, but today's technology has made a difference in the way the groups operate. Since Duke's dorms have Ethernet access to the Internet, it's easy for students to collect MP3s from other groups, and many student singers have downloaded music.

"We often use MP3s as a way for members to hear the original versions of songs that we are considering," says former Pitchforks member Bret Runestad '02. "Also, we have often distributed MP3s to newer members when songs that we have already recorded are on an original CD or tape that has been sold out."

The technology also builds audience awareness, even before that audience reaches Duke. "We have had girls try out for us who researched college a cappella before coming to school and knew that if they came to Duke they wanted to be in Out of the Blue," says Meg Watson '02. "I don't think that our music being available online is a problem for the group at all."

"Obviously, we would rather have someone pay us for a [Pitchforks] CD than simply download our whole album off of someone's computer on the Duke network or the Internet," says Runestad. "That being said, though, we sell the albums basically to cover the cost of album production. We're not looking to make a profit, and we don't. So it's exciting for us to have our music get more exposure. I remember being very excited the first time I went on Napster and realized that there were people from around the country who were sharing and downloading our music."

The former co-musical directors of Something Borrowed, Something Blue agree. "It's great because we love to share music," says Tim Chung '02. "Better to have public exposure than make ten bucks per CD," says Dave Chong '03. "A cappella really isn't for the money."

The groups do rely on CD sales to fund their activities. "Selling the CDs should theoretically cover the cost of recording, producing, and pressing the CDs," says Chong. "And give us a little bit to put into the B&B; fund for all else we like to do--tour, travel, tithe, record a new CD, and so on."

"All of the money Out of the Blue makes from touring and selling our CDs goes toward our next CD," says Watson. "We record every year and produce a CD every two years, based on the enormous expense it is to master and create the final product. None of the money comes back to the group members. We can and have in the past applied for funds from one university office or another, but over 95 percent of our funding comes from selling our CDs and doing concerts."

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