While several other a cappella groups performed last weekend, 58 Greene was the only one that mattered.
Now I guess I might be a little biased given I know and would die for Teddi Reynolds, one of the members of the group, but by the audience’s hoots and hollers throught the night I think it can be said they were also objectively good. Paired with two fabulous dancing groups (EnCore and FunKtion), the performance was smooth and stylish and properly varied. The song selections were a bit conservative, tending towards the classic, softer side, but that was nice. Flashy, chorerography-heavy performance is clearly not their style. In most of their songs they stand in a group, moving rhythmically, but not dancing. Instead they prefer to let their lyrical power enthrall the crowd. Not exactly reminscent of Pitch Perfect, but that is an unreasonable expectation for groups of all styles.
My only real critique of the performance is the lack of understanding some of the members have about their vocal range. While Scott McMillan’s performance of “Slow Dancing in the Dark” was wonderfully sweet and rich in tone, he had trouble reaching some of the high notes. I would have loved to hear him perform the song with pitch adjustments to better fit his range, or another song entirely. A few others had this problem in some spots, particularly with the higher pitches. While it is great to showcase one’s range, it is more important to focus on emphasizing the tones that come naturally. I could not begin to estimate the number of men I’ve heard singing in a falsetto voice when they definitely should not.
I was supremely impressed with the variety of voices within the group, from Danny Kim’s soft, soft high tones to Sarah Kleppe’s perfect mixing with Desirae Nelson’s voice in their “No Peace” duet. Teddi Reynolds and Rikvah Levine both gave me the shivers with their soulful selections. There were voices deep and high, singing like the soft wind and like the crashing sea. 58 Greene must have an awfully harsh audition process, given how talented their members are. Despite this assumption, for a flash of a second at the end I had a vision of joining the group myself. Then I remembered my non-speaking role in the eighth grade production of Mulan (I was the cricket) and promptly forgot this dream.
If you are more talented than I in the vocal arts, do try your hand at auditioning for the group. They are having winter auditions for Bass and Tenor parts on January 10th, 6-10pm in room 1405 of East Quad. Break a leg!