As I entered the theatre, it was clear that the A Cappella community on campus is more like a family. With members from various groups socializing amongst one another and with those in the audience, the air was one of amiability. You could tell that many of the performance-goers were close family and friends of the performers themselves.
Rackham Auditorium itself was quite the venue. From the vintage orange velvet seats to the intricate design on the ceiling to the pillars that act as entrances on stage, it provided a nice backdrop for the event.
Albeit a few technical difficulties with the sound equipment and some general disorganization in the entering and exiting of groups onto the stage, the night proved to be one of great entertainment. One of the highlights of the evening included the Friars, an all-male group that’s a subset of the Men’s Glee Club, duping the crowd with the Jonas Brothers equivalent of Rick-Rolling. They were as lovely, wacky, and tall as ever. Maize Mirchi and Amazing Blue both put forward an impressive stage presence and theatrical performance- showcasing their strengths as two of the most well-acclaimed competing groups on campus. With their contagious energy and shifting formations they were both engaged and engaging to the audience. Amazing Blue coins themselves as a group that isn’t afraid to take creative risks and with their unique take on the classic song “Nowhere to Run” by Martha and the Vandellas, they certainly lived up to that claim and I would say, the creative risk paid off. Similarly, Mirchi delivered on their promise of being a group that fuses together influences of South-Asian tradition with today’s music and did so in a captivating and impressive way. The Sirens entranced the audience with a sultry version of none other than the beloved line-dance, Cotton-Eyed Joe. Although a bit unorthodox, it ended up being quite hypnotic, from the soloists crystal clear vocals to the interlocking harmonies of the all-female group.
One of the biggest surprises of the evening was the guest performance by UM-Flint’s sole a cappella group the Flint Octaves, who brought one of the liveliest performances of the whole night, dancing and bright color scheme included. Good News and Kol HaKovad, the Christian and Jewish A Cappella groups on campus, respectively, brought great energy to the stage with fun and really solid-sounding vocals. Another group, the Sopranos, brought great “levels” to their powerful performance. It was really impactful to see such a large group of women singing in solidarity together on stage. The G-Men brought home the performance with their semi-alarming entrance turned into auditory inspiration. The self-proclaimed “premiere a cappella soccer team” know how to leave you eternally wondering when their song will be over but never wanting it to end.
Overall, I greatly enjoyed the wide diversity of songs, styles, and presentations that each group brought to the stage and the individualistic twists they each took with their own renditions of music both familiar and unfamiliar to myself. As the semester comes to a close, many of these groups will hold a solo concert showcasing more of their own phenomenal work- if you get the chance, definitely don’t miss them.