Palooza showcases best of University’s a Capella



Song-Binh Ngo

 On March 23, hundreds of students, parents, alumni and community members gathered in the Jake Nevin Field House for a night of exquisite vocals and creative choreography, otherwise known as a Capella Palooza and more affectionately known in the Villanova community as “Palooza.” Unlike other concerts and performances throughout the year, a Capella Palooza is a showcase of all the University’s seven a Capella groups, who each performed three of their favorite a Capella renditions. This year’s a Capella Palooza featured performances by the Supernovas, Vocal Minority, the Haveners, Minor Problem, Nothing But Treble, the Spires and the Sirens.

 “Countless hours go into selecting the right songs and then spending time arranging and learning them,” Tom Anderson of Vocal Minority said. “After perfecting every song musically, you start to add in choreography to help add something to your set on the big stage.” 

   A Capella Palooza is organized by the Directors of Villanova a Capella, otherwise known as DVAC. DVAC consists of two representatives from each a Capella group and meets regularly throughout the year to plan various a Capella events. DVAC also works with  the tech crew and volunteers to ensure that a Capella Palooza runs smoothly. Proceeds from a Capella Palooza ticket sales are split evenly amongst the seven a Capella groups and go towards paying for various necessities such as tours and professionally made videos of concerts. 

   “Palooza is our biggest performance of the year, so we really give it our all,” Anderson said. 

   Similar to previous years, a Capella Palooza began with a humorous introduction video featuring all of the University’s a Capella groups, who welcomed the audience with a witty revised version of Rebecca Black’s “Friday.” After the video, the hosts, seniors Eli Volk and Morgan Sturgis, introduced the first group to perform, the Villanova Supernovas, who kicked off the night with their rendition of “Smoke and Fire,” by Sabrina Carpenter. The co-ed group recently placed first at the 2017 International Championship of Collegiate a Cappella (ICCA) Mid-Atlantic Quarterfinal in late January and went on to place third at the 2017 ICCA Mid-Atlantic Semifinal the day after a Capella Palooza. 

  Volk and Sturgis then took the stage in “I Heart VM” t-shirts. 

   “I bought this because I love vending machines,” Eli joked before Morgan introduced Vocal Minority who took the stage next with its renditions of crowd favorites, including Kanye West’s “Love Lockdown” and the classic “Fat Bottomed Girls” by Queen.

   Kanye proved to be a popular choice among groups, as the Haveners, Villanova’s oldest all-female a Capella group, took the stage with a “Kanye v. Taylor” mash-up, a unique blend of Kanye West and Taylor Swift hits, creating a spunky musical dialogue between the “Kanyes” and the “Taylors” on stage. They played off of Kanye’s infamous interruption of Taylor’s acceptance speech at the MTV Music Awards. Minor Problem, a co-ed group, followed with its songs, one of which was a powerful version of Stevie Wonder’s “Crazy.” 

   Following a brief intermission, Nothing But Treble brought the audience back to the show with its captivating rendition of the party staple “679” by Fetty Wap. Performing next were the Villanova Spires who were spiffed up in blazers during their covers of recent hits, “Shape of You,” by Ed Sheeran and “That’s What I Like,” by Bruno Mars. The last group to perform were the Sirens with their captivating version of Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment’s “Sunday Candy.” 

   Adhering to tradition, a Capella Palooza closed with a “senior song,” during which all of the senior members of the University’s a Capella groups took the stage together for one last time. Each senior had a turn at the microphone. This year’s senior song was One Direction’s “History,” with its chorus reflective of the “history” that the seniors have made here at the University. 

   “What I love about Palooza is going out there and singing with my group,” Anderson said. “We have all worked so hard to prepare for this event and one of the most important things to us is to have a good time because if we’re having a good time, then the audience will too.” 

   And the audience did just that, as many members of the Villanova community of all ages gathered to support the a Capella groups and were impressed by the performances. Overall, this year’s a Capella Palooza was a truly spectacular event that brought the Villanova community together in the spirit of music.