I had the great opportunity to meet with Eric Corpuz- founder and current manager of Beyond Measure, and another wonderful group member, Janet Vallem, who just recently became alumni of Beyond Measure. Both Eric and Janet provided exciting and important information about their A Cappella group Beyond Measure, and I feel privileged to have met with them and now be able to share their words and stories with you.
Eric Corpuz grew up Catholic and is a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He shared with me of how throughout high school he had great Mormon friends who were such an example to him and had such an impactful influence. This led to Eric’s baptism at the end of his senior year. Shortly after high school Eric chose to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
One day on Eric’s mission he recalls walking through the halls of the Missionary Training Center, also known as the MTC. A sister missionary was passing by him in the hallway and heard him humming a hymn. She quickly stopped him and said, “Elder, you have a talent, you need to sing.” With her support, Eric decided to audition for a music number for a devotional, and got the part, and ever since he has been hooked.
Throughout Eric’s mission, he expanded his voice while continuing to sing and use his voice to praise the Lord. One of his companions happened to be a member of BYU’s Vocal Point group and helped inspire Eric further. Eric expressed having such a great time with this companion, serving, singing together, and learning so much. When he got back from his mission he decided to take voice lessons, and after playing the clarinet at BYU for three years he decided, “This isn’t getting me anywhere in life, nor is it sexy” and decided to find a way to fulfill his love and passion for music and singing.
Janet Vallem grew up in the church and served a mission in Nauvoo with a performing group at age 19. By the time she auditioned to be a part of the performing group, she felt ready to serve and share her talents. She wanted to serve a full-time mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints but was unable to at that time because the mission age change had not come about. She served a 4-month mission in Nauvoo, keeping the same schedule as the rest of the missionaries, and performing during the day. She didn’t expect the strong spiritual effect that serving in this performing mission would have on her, and is grateful for how much she grew there.
These two members of Beyond Measure, each different and unique, share a similar purpose and goal which is to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ through music and singing. This doesn’t only apply to Eric and Janet, but to all who join Beyond Measure. Each member that joins always says that they wanted to be a part of something that was bigger than them.
How Beyond Measure Came To Be
After trying out for BYU’s Vocal Point and not getting in, Eric and a friend said jokingly to each other one day that they should start their own group. There is BYU Vocal Point which consists of all men, and BYU Noteworthy which is all women, so why not a coed group? This is how Beyond Measure began to come to be. Although the majority of the group members are BYU students, this is not a requirement. Beyond Measure doesn’t want to limit themselves, although they do expect each member to uphold certain standards and adhere to BYU’s honor code, they do not cut off potential members just because they do not attend the school.
The name for this A Cappella group, Beyond Measure, came about after lots of brainstorming and ideas of what to name the group. One day a member shared that her uncle discovered the phrase “Beyond Measure” multiple times throughout hymns and the scriptures, and so after taking a vote, Beyond Measure was chosen to represent them.
The group has taken off quite quickly over the past few years and has progressed tremendously, this last year being one of the best they have had. But it isn’t easy to become as good and popular as they have. It takes a lot of effort and work, and often for the group members that means putting Beyond Measure at the top of their list and as a priority. Rehearsal for the group is 3 times a week, each practice lasting 2-3 hours. When I asked Eric how he balanced school and Beyond Measure, he smiled and replied, “I don’t.” He continues, “There are some nights when I stay up until 2 a.m. trying to finish my homework, but I decided a long time ago that my college experience is going to be more than my GPA.”
Beyond Measures’ Mission Statement And Goals
Beyond Measure has an excellent mission statement that guides them. “There are three pillars of Beyond Measure,
personal development, performance development, and spiritual development. We strive to build ourselves as individuals in those three areas so we can be our best to help others be their best through music.”
Eric spoke of how the group is not trying to be a Billboard Top 40, but that their end goal is to go out and inspire, and to use music as missionary work to spread the gospel. One way to make sure that the group doesn’t stray from this mission statement is by singing “Have I done Any Good” at the end of each rehearsal. This leaves them feeling the spirit and remembering what they are really about, and what they are truly trying to achieve.
As the interview came to a close I asked Eric and Janet to share any exciting future plans for Beyond Measure. They shared that in November they will release their first album and that in April an EP was released as a sneak peak to the soon to come album. Starting this fall they are expanding themselves. They are getting a studio and plan to form a brother and sister group, as well as a coed high school group, which will be led by alumni.
More recent activity concerning Beyond Measure includes starting up multiple YouTube series, as well as their own website. The YouTube series will include videos of group members sharing their life stories and testimonies, a series called Doing Good where it will show different members of the group performing acts of kindness, and in August, will launch a video series talking about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Mormons.
Nicole C. Mullen’s Song “Redeemer”
At the close of the interview, Eric and Janet shared about one of their recent video releases in which they performed a cover of Nicole C. Mullen’s song “Redeemer.” This song has a powerful story behind it. In Beyond Measures very first year a non-member auditioned for their group. For her audition, she sang the song “Redeemer.” The audition was so beautiful and had a significant impact on each member of the group. After joining the group this young woman joined the church.
When deciding this spring which song to perform next, they decided to do the song that resonated powerfully with all members, the song “Redeemer.” This video was released on Sunday, 29 May 2016. Beyond Measure just wanted a subtle release of this video, as to say “We hope you’re having a good Sunday, and here is something that will hopefully make it a little better.” They wanted to let people all around know that they are loved and to share the messaged of how He Lives.
The interview with Beyond Measure was an incredible opportunity and I learned so much about Eric and Janet, as well as their awesome group Beyond Measure. I hope each of us can take something from what Eric and Janet shared, and find a way to better ourselves and help share what we believe, and to spread good and the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world.