Trentones rock regional a cappella competition

At front, from left, senior communication studies major Krystal Spencer, junior music education major Craig Dickert, freshman accounting major Steve Leming and sophomore music education major Dylan Lloyd sang solos and harmonized during the Trentones’ opening song, a mash-up of The Beatles’ ‘Please Please Me’ and Kings of Leon’s ‘Sex On Fire.’ (Jess Davis / Staff Photographer)

The Trentones, one of the College’s a cappella groups, competed in the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA) regional quarterfinals on Saturday, Feb. 19, held on the Kendall Hall Main Stage.

Though the group didn’t advance to semifinals, cheers for its renditions of Sara Bareilles’ “Gravity,” The Darkness’ “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” and mash-up of The Beatles’ “Please Please Me” and Kings of Leon’s “Sex on Fire” echoed in every corner of the packed theater after its performance.

Eight a cappella groups from five regional colleges and universities, including the College, competed. The Trentones opened the show and were followed by groups from Drexel University, Syracuse University, Binghamton University and the University of Pittsburgh.

Clad in black and white, members of the Trentones began their three-song set with “Please Please Me/Sex On Fire.” Freshman accounting major Steve Leming and senior communication studies major and Signal staff writer Krystal Spencer belted out solos, with junior music education major Craig Dickert and sophomore music education major Dylan Lloyd harmonizing.

Next came Sara Bareilles’ “Gravity,” with an emotionally charged solo by sophomore finance major Danielle Bellomo.

A somber mood fell over Kendall Hall after the poignant ballad, which the Trentones quickly shattered with a playful rendition of The Darkness’ “I Believe in a Thing Called Love,” featuring a solo by senior health and exercise science major Brittany Brown-Webster.

“It was very lively,” said junior finance major Dan Zuller of the upbeat number.

After the Trentones concluded its set, the crowd erupted in applause.

“It was great,” said junior computer science and biology double major Adam Sferlazzo. “I really enjoyed it.”

Though the Trentones didn’t place in the top three when results were called, its members are still proud of the work they did to get to ICCA.

Seven groups took the stage after the Trentones, beginning with the Binghamton Crosbys, an all-male a cappella group. Syracuse’s Orange Appeal and Drexel’s 8 to the Bar rounded out the trio of all-male a cappella groups that competed.

Two all-female a cappella groups performed, Bingham-ton’s Harpur Harpeggios and Syracuse’s The Mandarins, and two co-ed groups, Syracuse’s Groovestand and Pittsburgh’s Pitt Pendulums, provided the rest of the night’s competition.

Notable performances included Groovestand’s take on Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind” and mash-up of Destiny’s Child’s “Survivor” and Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me A River.”

During the former, two soloists, a male rapper and female singer, posed as Jay-Z and Alicia Keys to cover the powerful Big Apple anthem. The latter saw a male and female soloist musically duke it out, capitalizing upon the interplay of “Survivor” and “Cry Me A River” to create a charged back-and-forth as the rest of the group slowly circled them.

The Pitt Pendulums’ version of Usher’s “OMG” earned its place among the night’s more memorable performances as well. Three soloists rotated to alternately sing and rap the dance-club jam.

A soulful turn by the group’s Usher stand-in highlighted the song.

The Pendulums were named second runners-up in the competition. Only the first runners-up, the Binghamton Crosbys, and champions, Groovestand, will advance to the semifinals at Rutgers University on March 26.

Groovestand performed an encore after receiving the top prize. The Syracuse crooners sang “Fame” from the eponymous musical and “Paparazzi” by Lady Gaga.

Emily Brill can be reached at brill3@tcnj.edu.