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A cappella show worth every note

Campus Correspondent

Published: Sunday, February 2, 2014

Updated: Sunday, February 2, 2014 22:02

Eight UConn a cappella groups performed Friday in the Spring 2014 concert, designed to attract new singers for the upcoming auditions.

Although the main point was to showcase the different options available to potential a cappella members, the event attracted a larger crowd.

The Student Union Theater is packed for the show every year, and this year was no different. Before the show, the line winded throughout the Student Union hallway. To get a good seat, some attendees arrived as early as 4:30 p.m. Their dedication was rewarded.

“Although we got here early and the show started late, it was worth every minute,” said Danielle Shimkus, an 8th-semester nutritional science major.

Once the groups started performing, they switched fluidly from one to the next.

Each ensemble was allowed two songs, so most groups attempted a slower song and then moved into a faster one.

A few groups understand that the point of the show is to be appealing; these groups entertain the crowd with more than just their voices. Others fell short of what was desired. As a whole, the Rush Concert gave a taste of each group’s personality and style.

“Some groups put me to sleep, literally,” said Caitlin Malloy, a 4th-semester allied health major. “But the few good groups make up for it every time.”

The two most impressive groups started and ended the show. Completely Different Note kicked off the night with a mash-up featuring Imagine Dragon’s “Every Night” and Matisyahu’s “One Day.” The blend was so impeccable, Kimmy Stankus, a 4th-semester psychology and human-development-and-family-studies major, could not tell they were two different songs.

Following this combination, CDN sang “Midnight Train to Georgia.” This song has become the iconic performance of the group. With the best choreography of the night, CDN’s smooth dance moves engaged the crowd and were reminiscent of a barbershop quartet. Despite the positive response, the group is retiring this classic.

CDN’s suit jacket over colored button-ups gave them a classy appearance that relates to their music and enhances their overall performance. Together, they have become an impressive a cappella experience.

Despite CDN’s enjoyable performance, the Conn Men closed the show as the best group of the night. Their enthusiasm and voices filled the auditorium, captivating audience members. Their vocal range is unparalleled by any other group and they have the best beat boxer around. The Spring Rush Concert once again demonstrated how easily the Conn Men will out-sing any group on campus.

The Conn Men performed Willie Dixon’s “29 Ways” and the Local Natives’ “Who Knows Who Cares.” Both songs highlighted the group’s broad skill-set and were a pleasure to experience. However, as the Conn Men have proved again and again, they could sing any song to an audience’s delight.

Auditions to join an a cappella group will take place Monday, Feb. 3, at 6 p.m. in the Music Building.


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3 comments Log in to Comment

Tue Feb 4 2014 14:47
Emily, there is nothing "unprofessional" or "incorrect" about your article. This is simply you're opinion and as someone who was given the task to review a musical event, you stated the truth. It is rediculous that people are pulling the "sexist" card. You are looking at the music from a purely objective standpoint and it just so happens that the stand out groups, in your opinion are the all-male groups. If you were to say that every group was fantastic, then that would be meaningless; there would be nothing worth writing about. I think that this article should serve as motivation for all the other groups to work harder to try to be noticed by honest music reviewers, like yourself. Once again, it is purely your opinion and it's shame that people can't understand that.
Tue Feb 4 2014 13:12
Actually Emily, your article was a great summary of the overall student body perception of the evening. Rather than attacking gender (as a female journalist?), I think you just wrote about the experience, which is your job. It just so happened that audience enthusiasm was at its highest level after the two all-male groups performed. It also just so happened that after the Conn-Men performed not too long ago for the Pentatonix, a professional a cappella group and champions of a national television series competition, the reaction was similar, and is why the Conn-Men received the honor to open for them.

You should also note that most of the MEMBERS of a cappella have little to no "musical insight," (however you'd like to define that), so that attack is irrelevant. The article DOES suggest there is an "air" of competition, because simply put: there is. All 8 groups at UConn compete against each other in numerous community/school competitions each year. These are not forced, but voluntary competitions. The air is certainly competitive here. You breathe it well, Emily.

I have been to other colleges such as North Eastern University, and have personally seen co-ed groups that are better than the Conn-Men or CDN. Your article has nothing to do with gender equality and awareness. Good a cappella groups should be recognized for their work and dedication, and I thank you for doing just that. We are definitely a supportive and friendly community, but to write an article that presents all 8 groups on the same pedestal would be completely ignorant to the varying reactions elicited from the audience on Friday.

The words you used were "most impressive" and "the best" to describe peformances that stood out. The following words were used to describe your article: "biased, ridiculous, sexist, rude, skewed, inept, unprofessional, incorrect." Seems like the words of a disgruntled member of a group that should hone in on its performance level. Perhaps your article is an incentive for this, since the history of UConn's a cappella competition clearly hasn't gotten it across quite yet. Thank you for accurately reporting the student body perception and overall experience of this event.
Mon Feb 3 2014 12:45
There are a few things to note about this article.

First off, I am appalled at the biased, ridiculous insinuation that if you are not a member of an all-male a cappella group, you bored the crowd and are at a lesser talent level. This is sexist, and actually quite rude. Having heard each group perform that night, I can say that every group was fantastic, so if you were sleeping, it was probably because you have no musical insight or ability whatsoever. Which is not the fault of the a cappella groups.

Also, this article suggests that there is an air of competition among the different groups. I would like to clarify that the explicit purpose of the concert is to promote a cappella, showcase all the groups in one performance, and allow perspective students to see if a cappella is something they are interested in. It is in no way a forum for competitive backhanding, either by a cappella members or amateur journalists.

We are a supportive, friendly community of people who have a passion for music. This article, in my opinion, does not portray that in any way. It conveys a skewed, biased view of a cappella at the university, and that is not something the a cappella community condones. Many people are outraged by this article. For the future, Emily, you might do well to consider how inept you sound when writing an article that is this unprofessional and clearly incorrect.

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