Awaken was established in Fall of 1992, when after an inspiring lunch in the Sproul Cafeteria, students Joyce Yim, Olimpio Wen, and Keith Ogden went directly up to Keith’s dorm room and wrote a one-page manifesto that established Awaken on the principles of passion for music and community. In the following years, Awaken would forge the A Cappella revolution at UCLA.
Former Awaken members over the years include actress Nicolette Robinson (the lead in the musical Waitress on Broadway), members of the award-winning group ARORA, and six-time Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles (who arranged and recorded the original version of her hit “Gravity” when she was a member in 2003). Bareilles can be heard on both “Gravity” and Awaken’s cover of The Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” in Dysfunctional Family Album.
Awaken has released six studio albums, two of which have won awards and been recognized by the Varsity Vocals’ Best of A Cappella CD Series.
Awaken performs at both on-campus and off-campus events such as UCLA Spring Sing, UCLA Dance Marathon, AIDS Walk Los Angeles, The West Coast A Cappella Showcase, The International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella, and other festivals and competitions around the West Coast.