A cappella groups support suicide prevention through various eclectic, distinct performances

Geneseo a cappella groups Between the Lines, Emmelodics, Southside Boys, Exit 8 and Hips N’ Harmony performed in Wadsworth Auditorium on Friday March 8. This charity concert donated money to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. A highlight of this concert was “Billie Jean” by Southside Boys member Evan Panzer (pictured above) (Catherine White/editor-in-chief).

The humor of a pair of tearaway pants and Michael Jackson’s signature glove did not distract from the impact of Geneseo’s annual charity a cappella concert.

 Five a cappella groups—Between the Lines, Emmelodics, Southside Boys, Exit 8 and Hips ’N Harmony—held their concert on Friday March 8 in Wadsworth Auditorium. This year, 75 percent of ticket sales went to benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

To decide which organization would benefit from the concert, each a cappella group member nominated a charity. The top few choices from each group were then considered collectively, according Between the Lines musical director junior Trevor Greco.

“I think [the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention] is a great organization that is often overlooked,” Greco said. “Many people struggle with mental illnesses and it is something we should raise awareness for. I think it’s been very meaningful to campus, especially [to] the a cappella groups here.”

Each group took a moment to thank everyone for coming out to support the cause before their performances. The audience could feel the significance of the support for AFSP, and the love each group had for each other was evident.

“For me, BTL is one of the first groups that I was really apart of when I came to school,” Greco said. “It was the highlight of my week every week and it was just spending quality time with good people.” 

For Hips ’N Harmony member senior Sydney Sheridan, being a part of a cappella allowed her and other students to form bonds that will never be forgotten. 

“I think [my favorite part of a cappella] would be getting to sing with my friends and spend a lot of time practicing at rehearsal, outside of rehearsal and performing together,” Sheridan said.

The love was especially prevalent during the seven senior songs performed beautifully by each group. These songs put the spotlight on the groups’ graduating members. 

Hips ’N Harmony had three seniors—Rachael Thorp, Marissa Marash and Sarah Ploof—each perform one chosen song. The seniors left a notable impact on the crowd and the rest of their a cappella group.

Sheridan stressed just how much she hoped the audience enjoyed the concert, specifically the senior songs.

“I want people to be able to enjoy themselves while they’re listening,” Sheridan said. “For the people who have senior songs that’s really meaningful to them so hopefully all their families who came had a great time.”

Exit 8 had three senior songs performed by Mallory Mrozinski, Colin Sugrue and Emilios Papas. 

Greco emphasized how important senior songs are within each group and even to the a cappella community as a whole.

“It’s weird because I’m sitting here getting emotional listening to other groups sing just thinking about our seniors that are graduating,” Greco said. “It’s very deeply tied with these close friendships I hope will last a long time.”

While Emmelodics and Southside Boys did not have any senior songs at this concert, their performances were noteworthy. 

The crowd roared during Emmelodic’s “Cry Me a Pony” when soloist Jonah Goldstein ‘18 revealed his tear away pants and danced across the stage with the other featured soloist junior Will Blanding.

The crowd also cheered when Southside Boys’s first-year Evan Panzer sang “Billie Jean” and performed signature Michael Jackson dance moves with a single gloved hand. 

Regardless of each performance’s seriousness, all the groups sang with plenty of passion. A shared love of music and the desire to help an amazing cause, while also forming unbreakable connections is what brought everyone to this incredible show. 

“Music is really important,” Greco said. “It’s so pretty and it’s really fun for people to connect on a basis like that.”