Acappellapalooza in Villanova Room tomorrow

Hannah Misner

Tomorrow, six unique and talented musical groups will perform a wide variety of contemporary and classic songs with extraordinary enthusiasm and passion. After more than six months of preparation, the groups will finally showcase their talent. Hundreds of people will travel to hear the sounds of live a cappella resounding off the high walls of the concert room. And it is here at Villanova.

The Villanova Room in Connelly Center will house the 10th annual Acappellapalooza, the largest student-musical event held on campus each year. It is a combined performance of the six a cappella groups on campus: Nothing But Treble, The Sirens, The Spires, Supernovas, The Haveners and Vocal Minority. In addition to the singing groups, there will be a special performance by an ensemble comprised of a couple members of each group.

“It gives you the opportunity to work with people from the other groups that you wouldn’t normally get to work with,” says Pam Natale of Supernovas. “This is the third year in a row we have been able to do this combined group.”

The Sirens are the newest addition to the musical community this year, and tomorrow will be their first Acappellapalooza appearance.

“This being our first concert, I think all of us are really excited to perform totally new songs that we’ve arranged this semester and [bring] this eclectic set of music to the Villanova community,” says Krista Vitola of The Sirens. “We’re definitely more excited than nervous; all of us love to perform.”

The crowd at Acappellapalooza will be the largest that the groups experience at Villanova all year, and each group has been preparing since at least September, with many coming to campus early in August for Music Camp.

“This is what we have been looking forward to since August,” says Adriane Bernabei of The Haveners.

“Since Villanova doesn’t have the option for a music major, students who are interested in music are limited in what they can do,” Natale says. “We don’t get the opportunity to have many large events, so this one is huge.”

All of the a cappella groups on campus require auditions in order to join, meaning they are truly the best of the best on campus.

“A lot of these people should rightfully be music majors at some big arts school,” says Caitlin Martin of Nothing But Treble. “But they chose to come to ‘Nova and just do things like this for fun.”

All the groups anxiously anticipate this time of year and spend a tremendous amount of their time and effort dedicated to putting on an entertaining show. Without the option of gaining course credits for their talent, these students do this all in their free time and simply for their genuine love of music.

Since Acappellapalooza is the biggest night of the year for Villanova’s a cappella community, the groups carefully select their song sets in order to best display their talents and relate to their audience.

“The crowd usually consists of our parents, family and friends from home and friends from Villanova,” Bernabei says. In order to reach out to everyone, we select diverse songs for our sets.”

The usual crowd includes people who know someone in one of the groups, such as friends and family, but most Villanova students will recognize someone they know in one of the groups.

“Due to the sheer size of the groups, nearly every student who attends will know someone who is performing, even if they didn’t know it before,” says Steve Guerrini of The Spires. “This gives them the opportunity to see what their friends do in their spare time.”

Although music performances are the main focus of the event, the groups exhibit their acting talents as well. Each group tries to incorporate a comedic skit either before or after its performance. Even though the event is approximately three hours long, it still manages to keep the attention of the audience by bouncing from group to group, from genre to genre and from singing to acting.

“We each have our own personality and group mentality, and I think this really comes through in what we present in a concert,” Martin says. “When people come to Acappellapalooza, they’re not going to hear the same thing over and over again; each group will be a completely new experience.”

This is the first time the event has had advanced ticket sales, which will hopefully also catch the attention of more students and provoke them to attend. Tickets for the event are $5 in advance or at the door. There will be a table selling tickets upstairs in Connelly Center from 11:20a.m. to 2:30p.m. tomorrow. All of the proceeds are equally distributed between the six groups to cover costs.

“The money helps a lot of the groups raise money to record CDs or to travel to other colleges to perform,” says Bill Hanlon of Vocal Minority. “It also helps to fund competition fees for those groups who participate in a cappella competitions.”

When compared to a train ticket or gas money and a cover or ticket fees for off-campus musical events, Acappellapalooza is a terrific deal.

As Guerrini says, “What other chance do students get to hear talented musicians and not have to go in to Philly?”

Such a showcase of a cappella music is a fantastic opportunity for students to show their support for the arts and witness the talent that is right under their noses. The groups truly love what they do and promise to deliver a remarkable performance. People of all generations will recognize at least one song, although the groups add their own unique edge to the pieces.

“You may start out not knowing what a song is, but then it will hit you that you do know it,” Hanlon says.

Songs from artists such as Fall Out Boy, Jay-Z and The Police are among the pieces selected for this year’s Acappellapalooza.

The event will take place in the Villanova Room of Connelly Center at 7 p.m. tomorrow night.

“People should definitely come and enjoy this array of music from all the groups on campus,” Vitola says. “If you’ve never seen an a cappella concert, you’re missing out!”