Holiday a cappella concert a singing success

On Nov. 21 Alpha Kappa Phi hosted the Holiday a cappella Extravaganza, featuring performances by Exit 8, Southside Boys and Hips 'n' Harmony.

The event raised money for Camp Good Days, a residential camping program for children and families who have been affected by cancer.

The concert began with a comical introduction by seniors Danny Carroll and Norma Butikofer, in which Carroll lamented that, "Everyone knows NARD always starts the concert." He continued to refuse to act the role of emcee even after Butikofer reminded him that NARD had graduated and the two of them should be honored to open the show.

Exit 8 took the stage first, beginning the evening with a jazzy rendition of "Zoot Suit Riot" before slowing it down with Coldplay's "Viva la Vida." The group's female talent was showcased by Duffy's "Mercy" and Rihanna's "Disturbia," although the chorus overpowered the soloist at times during the latter.

Southside Boys premiered Toto's "Africa," a new number that drew cheers from the audience largely due to Carroll's impressive falsetto. The boys also took on the Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Otherside" and The Who's "Pinball Wizard," a humorous song about a deaf, dumb and blind boy who is a master at pinball.

The ladies of Hips 'n Harmony were the first to perform Christmas music, donning Santa hats and beginning their set with "Silver Bells" before moving into the higher tempo song "Lollipop" and a smooth rendition of Regina Spektor's "Hotel Song."

Following intermission, Hips 'n Harmony kept it upbeat with "I Can See Clearly Now" and "One Fine Day." The songs were performed well, but lacked the contemporary feel with the absence of a beatboxer.

Southside Boys began their second set with the familiar "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay," an Otis Redding song that Hips 'n' Harmony junior Leora Bernstein joked they had been doing for three years due to a "lack of creativity," jovially costing her a dedication.

The boys then drew the only standing ovation of the evening with a Christmas medley prompted by the walkout of their beatboxer, who claimed they would be lost without him. The song began as the "Twelve Days of Christmas" and hastily moved through such numbers as "Deck the Halls," "Rudolph," and "The Dreidel Song" before landing again at the "Twelve Days of Christmas" to the tune of "Africa" upon the beatboxer's return.

Exit 8 closed the show with "Happy Christmas" and an impressive vocal performance by junior Maryelisabeth Kimbark in Pink's "Who Knew."

After the show, junior Stephanie Loccisan expressed her appreciation for the performances, saying "it was really great." Junior Angela Mendez agreed, saying she "loved the Southside Boy's Christmas medley" and that she thought it was "really cute."

The concert was a successful fundraiser that left the crowd with a bit of early holiday cheer.