On Saturday April 7, a cappella groups from across campus came together for a celebratory spring bash in Wadsworth Auditorium. The event raised over $700 for the Chordoma Foundation, a nonprofit devoted to researching treatments for chordoma, a rare type of bone cancer.
Each group performed a set both before and after intermission. They sang to an enthusiastic crowd who laughed and clapped along, and whose cheers were uproarious.
First up was Exit 8, a coed group that brought down the house with a powerful performance of “Someone Like You” by Adele, all swelling dynamics and exclamations. The group capped their performance with its rendition of Hanson’s “MMMBop” and a backfliping vocal percussionist.
All-female group Hips ‘n’ Harmony followed and, true to its name, members of the group beautifully blended their strong voices into a choir that led to huge applause. Most impressive was the singers’ vocalization of the piano arpeggios that sit at the center of Vanessa Carlton’s “A Thousand Miles.”
After Hips ‘n’ Harmony came co-ed group Between the Lines, whose mix of exaggerated, tongue-in-cheek choreography and strong vocal chops had audience members laughing and smiling through “5 Years Time” by Noah and the Whale. The group brought the song’s old-timey charm and catchy melody to the fore.
Closing out the first half was Southside Boys, who featured the most soloists of any group in its strong version of the Backstreet Boys’ “Shape of My Heart,” which arguably improved upon the original. After a short intermission, each group brought it again, covering popular songs both new and old.
A cappella is definitely best when those involved just have fun with it, because when these groups do, they strip away everything extraneous about a song and reveal whether the song is simply good or not. Case in point: Between the Lines’ version of “Hey Ya” by Outkast removed all the pop trappings from the original song (probably the catchiest in the last 10 years) and showed off its many beautiful melodies, all with a playful spirit.
With four different groups, each with a distinct identity, a cappella is clearly an incredibly popular activity on our campus. At the concert, it wasn’t hard to see why. More than anything, the groups radiated fun, clearly enjoying every moment of being on stage.