Won by One | Pepperdine University | Seaver College

Won by One

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Won By One?
Won by One is a six member a cappella performing group, representing Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. Its members are chosen by audition each year and must demonstrate musical ability, academic excellence, strength of character and spiritual commitment. The group works in connection with the Office of Church Relations and the Office of Admissions to strengthen ties between Pepperdine and the Churches of Christ and to recruit Christian students for the University.

In addition to its work for Pepperdine, Won by One is a dynamic music ministry that seeks through its performances to bring its audiences closer to God. Each singer is a committed Christian with a desire to use a God-given talent to glorify and worship the Creator. The group maintains an active performance schedule for churches, youth rallies, retreats, Christian schools, and other special occasions.

How are auditions conducted?
All candidates will be required to submit a recorded audition consisting of three a cappella Christian songs, one with a brief introduction of a minute or so (why you chose the song, why it is meaningful, etc.). It may benefit you to select songs of varying styles, in order to most adequately showcase your musical ability.

Important: the recording must be unedited (without stops) -- in other words, it is a continuous taping of song, 1-minute introduction, song, song, and a self-introduction (not necessarily in that order). Candidates should spend no more than five minutes describing themselves. 

Links to video auditions should be sent no later than April 15. Each candidate should also complete and submit the electronic application. Two letters of recommendation must be sent via email to wonbyone@pepperdine.edu, at least one being from an elder or minister at their home congregation. The group should be selected by the end of April.

Who chooses the group?
Jeff Walling, director of the Youth Leadership Initiative in the Office of Church Relations, supervises the selection process with a group of former Won By One members along with administrators in the Office of Admissions.

Will people who are selected for the group have to re-audition the following year?
Ideally, the same members return each year until they graduate, but there is always the possibility we'll need to replace a singer for musical, personal, or spiritual reasons. Auditions will be held each year and all returning members will be required to re-audition. Obviously, returning members will have an advantage and will be given first consideration.

Are graduate students eligible to audition for the group?
Since Won By One is an outreach of Pepperdine's undergraduate college, graduate students are not eligible to audition.

What kind of music does the group perform?
Won By One performs a large variety of music, ranging from ballads to more upbeat songs. All the music and arrangements compare with the most contemporary Christian music. Won By One is not limited to singing any particular style of music, however all songs maintain a Christian emphasis, with the primary goal of glorifying God and ministering through song to the individuals at each concert. 

What kind of students are you looking for?
We are obviously looking for talented singers and exciting performers. Equally important, however, is a strong spiritual commitment, a heart for ministry (especially to young people) and an enthusiasm for Pepperdine.

Do you have to be a music or religion major to be in the group?
We invite all interested students to audition regardless of major. Because of the tremendous time investment, though, it is likely that those whose majors or activities require large commitments of time (such as music or theater majors, members of athletic teams, cheerleading squads, student government, etc.) will not be able to meet the requirements of those activities and the group.

Do you have to be a member of the Church of Christ to be in the group?
Students must be a member of the Church of Christ due to the unique mission of the group and our relationship to the Office of Church Relations.

What kind of scholarship will those who make the group receive?
Members will receive a scholarship of up to $10,000 each fall/spring semester, which can be used to cover tuition, room and board for that semester.

What expectations does Pepperdine have for those who are selected for Won By One?

  • As representatives of Pepperdine, group members are expected to abide by all University rules and regulations and to support the mission statement of the University.
  • Won By One rehearses 5-6 hours a week, which usually constitutes about 3 rehearsals, and often travels on the weekends to perform. Group members are expected to attend all rehearsals and concert dates and to participate in an extensive summer tour.
  • Group members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional and Christ-like manner in all circumstances.
  • Consistent with Pepperdine's emphasis on excellence, all group members are expected to maintain at least a 2.5 grade point average.
  • Believing in the importance of a church family, all group members are expected to be involved in the services and activities of a local Church of Christ when not traveling with the group.
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