Bridging the divisions between a number of diverse a cappella groups, the College’s annual Acappellooza, held on Saturday, Oct. 12, showcased just how many styles of all-vocal performances could be arranged and deftly delivered.
Organized by campus troupe The Trentones, five groups passed the mic over the course of the evening. Each shared the typical characteristics needed to compose an a cappella group — layered tenors and sopranos, a beatboxer to steer the course of the song — but each group’s thematic focus shifted dramatically, from its choice of songs to its underlying mission statement.
The Trentones, as the hosts of the evening, opened and closed the show with separate sets. Their first couplet of tracks included a rendition of James Taylor’s classic beauty “That Lonesome Road” and a mashup of Beyonce’s “Halo” and Kelly Clarkson’s “Already Gone.” But their standout performance came in the closing set — with a powerhouse female performance from sophomore secondary education and math double major Ali Falcone, the troupe stomped out the gospel-charged rhythms of Delta Rae’s “Bottom of the River.”
To take an original song and format it for a cappella, though, can require some vocal gymnastics.
“We basically choose songs based on what we like and what we think can be arranged in a cool way,” The Trentones’ president Corrina Santos said. “The complexity of arrangements is varied based on the song and the person arranging it, but there is a lot to think about while arranging. The harmonies, tempo and vowels are just the beginning.”
As evidenced from their performance at Acappellooza, the Trentones often set the bar as the College’s most recognizable a cappella group. For some students, the groups to follow were entirely new discoveries. Take Voice of Hope, the only Christian a cappella group on campus. By eschewing the variety of genres performed by other groups and relying solely on religious hits, the group has gained less mainstream coverage on campus. Still, Voice of Hope has some nascent talents brewing, if not for a few