Published: April 7, 2016
The University’s A cappella groups welcomed some off-campus guests, as the two organizations participated in a collaboration event with the visiting Ursinus College all-male A capella group Friday at 8 p.m. in the Brennan Hall Pearn Auditorium.
The Univeristy’s two A capella groups, the co-ed Octaves and the all-female Royal Harmony, joined the Ursinus Bearitones.
The event featured numerous songs from the three groups, as the audience enjoyed an entertaining performance over the course of an hour.
The trio of groups performed a myriad of renditions of popular songs, which in genre ranged from pop to rap and more.
The Octaves even performed a “guilty pleasure” mash-up song, featuring a number of classic tunes.
Senior Octaves member Jimmy Francis said he was pleased with the way the joint concert went.
“I think it went pretty well. We were really on top of our stuff and we knew what we were doing,” Francis said. “It was a very organized event, too.”
Francis also noted that while the a cappella groups have had other performances this semester, Friday’s concert ‘was probably the biggest’ so far.
Unlike a inter-college sporting event, there are no winners or losers in an A capella concert. Francis went on to say the relaxed atmosphere helps make for a better show.
“There’s a lot of collaboration between the three groups. I think it was our third time welcoming a group from another school,” Francis said. “Last year West Chester (University of Pennsylvania) came, and the year before Bryn Mawr (College) did. It’s cool because it’s just different groups entertaining and putting on a good show.”
Moving forward, Francis said he thinks the more experience the A capella groups get, the better, especially with the spring concert a little over a month away.
“I think it’s very beneficial for us to get on stage and perform those smaller performances. For instance, maybe one or two songs at a USPB event,” Francis said. “It’s just important to get that experience by doing larger sets, and that will help make us all more comfortable for the spring concert.”
Jake Banks, vice president of the Ursinus Bearitones, said the group was initially impressed with The University’s appearance.
“I’ve never been to Scranton, but I heard really good things,” Banks said. “But I didn’t really understand how beautiful it is until we got here,” Banks said. “The buildings were awesome, and it was such a nice, clean campus.”
Banks also said the group had an incredibly positive experience collaborating with the two on-campus groups.
“The two groups were so welcoming and it really felt like they rolled out the red carpet for us,” Banks said. “They gave us amazing hospitality, and I only have positive things to say about them.”
Banks said the Bearitones thrive when they bring the energy and excitement level.
“In general, we really try to get the crowd into it. We just try to have fun with everything, because if people see you having fun, they’re going to have fun too,” Banks said. “Our main goal is always to put on a good performance and give people a good show.”
Monica Vaidya, president of Men and Women for Octaves, said the reason The University hosts other groups is because of the traveling logistics.
“Other groups usually come here because it’s easier for them to travel,” she said. “There’s two groups of us, so that’s about 36 people total, which would be difficult. For example, Ursinus only came in three cars, so the travel wasn’t too bad.”
In this case in particular, the collaboration event spawned because of common connections.
“One of the members of Royal Harmony has a friend in the group. We emailed back in February and tried to set up a date where we could schedule something.”
Vaidya went on to say her favorite part about the collaboration events is interacting with new peers.
“My favorite part is just meeting these new people and hearing them sing. Everybody puts a lot of hard work into A capella groups, so we really appreciate it.”
Vaidya also mentioned that there is a good chance The University welcomes the Bearitones back in the near future.
“We’re definitely hoping we could do this again, maybe even next year. I was speaking to the president of the Bearitones and he’ll be the president again next year,” Vaidya said.
The University’s Aacapella groups remain busy, as both groups will perform the National Anthem at the Scranton Railriders game Friday.
Both the Octaves and Royal Harmony will perform in the spring A capella concert, which takes place May 14, at 3 p.m. in the Moskovitz Theater.
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