Those who have heard A Cappella performances before know the magic and uniqueness such performances can hold. There are few things cooler than a group of people harmonizing perfectly, and grooving to nothing but their own voices.
“I think A Cappella has an appeal because it is very accessible… [W]e sing songs like radio hits that almost everyone knows and present it in a way that hasn’t been heard before,” Co-Director of Underground Sound Lisa Hawkins said, “hearing music that showcases real voices is refreshing.”
Sophomore Michael Stahl, Director of Garden Level, spoke on the possibilities of the human voice.
“A Cappella is such a great phenomenon. It allows the voice to take over and really show off what a wide range we can do without additional instruments. We can imitate instruments in this style, or compose a new sound that would only sound good with voices. The possibilities are endless,” Stahl said.
The groups gave a special performance for RDG dancers, in addition to their performance on Wednesday, Nov. 12. Every number was arranged by members of the groups, and most featured one or two soloists.
What She Said, an all-woman A Capella group, opened the show with “Closer,” followed by “Wisely and Slow,” “Killing Me Softly,” “Blink 182 Medley,” “Samson,” and their finale “Pretty Hurts.”
“Killing Me Softly” and “Samson” were two of the more popular numbers, but “Samson” was one of What She Said co-music director Helen Burns’ favorite numbers.
“I loved performing Samson because it’s one of my favorite songs of all time, and also because I love doing group numbers without any soloists. It turns the audience’s attention to what’s really important: the group,” Burns said.
She also enjoyed singing “Pretty Hurts,” the number that closed their part of the show.
“Pretty Hurts is such a good song for a girl group to do. The message of the song portrays women feeling like we have to change who we are to meet someone else’s standards, and it’s something that I think is very prevalent in our society. I guess singing that song just reminds me how proud I am to sing with such a strong group of women and how proud I am to be a woman,” Burns said.
The Timbermen, the newest A Cappella group and an all-man quartet, took the stage next, with “Come Fly With Me,” “My Wild Irish Rose,” “Something Tells Me I’m Into Something Good / Happy Together,” “The Sound Of Silence,” “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay,” and “Sh’Boom.”
“Something Tells Me…” and “Sound of Silence” were their most popular numbers, though all displayed talent.
Underground Sound, a mixed male/female A Cappella group, opened the next part of the show with a soulful number called “Bottom of the River.”
“Bottom of the River is probably our favorite song as a group because the song itself has so much character and is very ominously theatrical,” Hawkins said.
Their other numbers included “Itty Bitty Pretty One,” “When You Wish Upon a Star,” and “I Want You Back.”
Hawkins said “When You Wish…” was another of their favorites because they’d made it their own with a jazzy twist. This was arranged by Co-Director Daniel Wolfert.
Garden Level, the all-man group, finished the performance with “Everybody / Bye Bye Bye,” “Stay With Me,” “Lullabye,” “I Found a Way,” “I’ll Follow You Into the Dark” and “Skyfall,” which was probably the most popular number of the evening.
Juniors Hawkins and Wolfert lead Underground Sound, and both are involved extensively in the Music Department. This is their second year co-directing, and both love the amount of progress the group has made this year.
“Something Daniel and I said at the beginning of the year was ‘We need to have fun to sound good, and sound good to have fun,’ and I feel like we’ve achieved that,” Hawkins said. “Our group this semester has been very dedicated. We especially appreciate the commitment and enthusiasm of our new members this year. They are great additions and have they’ve brought a lot of fun energy to the group.”