Captivating and dynamic melodies ranging from modern Christian music to R&B echoed from The William C. Powers Jr. Student Activity Center Auditorium on Friday night. Audience members appeared enthralled by singing and choreography unfolding on stage at Acapalooza, a showcase featuring performances from eight of UT’s a cappella organizations.
Each group took the stage in a four-minute a cappella rendition of their choosing. One featured group included Noteworthy, and competitive a cappella co-ed group.
“I enjoy performing with my group, but (cheering on others) is fun,” said Delaney Glosser, a public relations junior and Noteworthy’s PR Manager. “It’s my favorite part, for sure.”
Noteworthy’s chosen songs included Alicia Keys’ “Fallin,” Adele’s pop ballad “All I Ask” and Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy.” Ash Murali, business junior and Noteworthy president, said he chooses what songs to feature by taking members’ suggestions and then voting on what to showcase.
“People want to know the songs you’re singing because you are introducing them to a new medium of music,” Murali said. “You want these songs to connect with people.”
A major part of Noteworthy’s preparation for Acapalooza includes creating vocal arrangements. Instead of buying arrangements that already exist, they create pieces that harmonically complement all members’ voices. For this reason, arranging starts after new members join the group to write parts comfortable for each member’s vocal range.
“The input of making (arrangements) unique to us has been in development, but it’s making sense and we’re trying to figure out what works best for us,” Glosser said.
Rehearsals performed to be the most difficult part of Acapalooza, Murali said. Members major across various subjects, resulting in diverse schedules. They learn material outside of rehearsals to take advantage of their twice-weekly two-hour slots together.
“We’re not exactly a cappella majors,” Murali said. “Being able to do that balancing act is a challenge, but it’s the best part.”
Aside from Acapalooza, Noteworthy competes in the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA). Last year, the group made it to the semi-finals in Phoenix, Arizona.
“It’s a great time, but there’s the point of Acapalooza where it’s awesome to sing with people who go to your school,” Glosser said. “It’s fun to showcase your talent in front of your peers.”
Public relations freshman William Chheng attended Acapalooza after a friend told him about the showcase. Chheng’s knowledge of a cappella comes from watching “Pitch Perfect” and listening to the group Pentatonix. Although he only saw the groups that performed after intermission, he said he wants to attend future showcases because he felt impressed by their talents.
“To go to a show where I might hear something I know is pretty cool,” Chheng said. “Since (UT) is one of the top universities in Texas, there are bound to be groups with tremendous talent.”