Freshman Brings Talented Voice to Ireland


Zach Abu-orf, FCRH '22, recommends everyone to get involved in a capella. (Courtesy of Zach Abu-orf)

By Katherine Morris

Zach Abu-orf, FCRH ’22, can usually be found in one of four places: a Keating basement music practice room, McGinley, rehearsing with the Ramblers, or his room studying.

Abu-orf is a pre-law student and plans on majoring in anthropology and minoring in either African and African American studies or Middle East studies. In addition to his academics, Abu-orf sings with the Ramblers, is a member of the Middle Eastern Student Association and plays on an intramural soccer team.

In early September, only a few weeks after arriving on campus as a freshman, a cappella auditions started. Abu-orf did not have a specific group in mind; he just knew he needed an outlet for musical and creative expression.

Spotting his talent, the Ramblers asked for a callback and subsequently offered him one of the highly coveted spots on the oldest a cappella group on campus. The Ramblers are a welcoming and exciting community. “Being a Rambler is extremely rewarding,” Abu-orf said. “I love to sing, and I am constantly inspired by the talent of the amazing people I sing with.”

Every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, the Ramblers spend two or three hours mastering songs they arrange themselves. Their hard work culminates in an impressive concert at the end of each semester. In the most recent fall concert, Abu-orf sang “Japanese Denim” by Daniel Caesar as a soloist. In addition to two full-length concerts, the Ramblers perform at other various gigs throughout the year and travel on two tours.

For the fall tour, Abu-orf travelled with the Ramblers to Boston where they met up and performed with two other a cappella groups. For the spring tour, Abu-orf had an incredible opportunity to visit Ireland with the Ramblers over spring break.

Abu-orf’s trip to Ireland started in Dublin where he sang in Trinity College with the university’s all-girl a cappella group, the Trinity Belles. The Ramblers then fulfilled their basic tourist obligations by walking around Dublin, visiting the Cliffs of Moher, touring the Guinness factory and exploring Galway.

In Dublin and Galway, Abu-orf and the Ramblers “busked,” or performed, on the street for voluntary donations and made over $200. Of the experience, Abu-orf said, “Having the opportunity to travel, sing and just hang out with these guys has been some of the best times, and getting to do that in Ireland was just so amazing.”

Even though he has not yet completed a full year at Fordham, he has already immersed himself in its rich culture and opportunities. Abu-orf is excited for his next three years of experiences and adventures with the Ramblers.

He plans to get even more involved in the campus music scene and is considering joining musical theater. For those interested in Fordham’s music culture, Abu-orf avidly encourages participation.“Getting involved in music on campus has been the best decision I could have made. The a cappella community is so welcoming and fun, and anyone who wants to try and get involved with it should!”

He said the experiences and friends made along the way are life-changing.