A Cappella Palooza takes over the Jake Nevin Field House



Dylan Toolajian

What is it about a Cappella that’s suddenly cool again? Could it be Anna Kendrick and her aca-bopping Barden Bellas in “Pitch Perfect?” Or maybe the Grammy Award-winning pop group Pentatonix is responsible. Either way, a Cappella music has been on an explosive pop culture comeback in the last few years, and it shows no sign of slowing down. 

When it comes to the Nation, we know exactly how to do an a Cappella showdown right. Case in point: A Cappella Palooza 2015.

Villanova’s concert event of the year threatens to be bigger, louder and more fun than ever before. All seven of our a Cappella groups on campus come together to showcase the very best of their repertoire, and each brings its own flavor into the mix. 

The Spires and Vocal Minority are all-male, Nothing But Treble, the Sirens and the Haveners are all-female, and Minor Problem and the Supernovas are co-ed.

All of the groups select the songs they want to work on using the same basic process, but how they work on those songs varies greatly.     

Each group has its own process for arranging a song–translating the written rhythms and melodies into the syllables and voice parts used in a Cappella. 

After the groups figure out who will sing what, they organize themselves and schedule concerts–some some of which feature collaborations between groups–throughout the year to perform what they’ve worked on. The themes and music performed at these concerts are as diverse as the groups themselves–but A Cappella Palooza is one of only two that feature performances by all seven Villanova groups.

One of Villanova’s favorite things about Palooza is its size. Few events on campus can claim to draw an audience of 1500 nationers—all of whom will funnel into Jake Nevin Fieldhouse with an expectation of hearing some excellent music. 

An expectation on which, if memory serves, Villanova a Cappella has never failed to deliver. The 2015 Directors of Villanova a Cappella have spent months preparing for this concert, refining every last detail of the setup to get everything just right. 

The concert is so big and so anticipated by the ‘Nova community that each group draws on its very best material 

The Directors of Villanova a Cappella handles all of the logistics required to get such a massive event off of the ground. Booking space and sound engineers, renting equipment, tables and seating, selling tickets in advance and at the door all requires planning and volunteers to work successfully. 

Though it’s a long process, the directors seem to agree that the pay off is worth it. The hype on stage is unlike that of any other concert on campus, and ticket sales significantly benefit the groups and the Office of Music Activities. 

This year’s philanthropic commitment will be given to Musicopia, a Delaware-valley based charitable organization that dedicates itself to furthering musical education for local students. 

Inside each group, there’s an enormous amount of work being done to get the music up to snuff, too. 

This is the biggest event of the year for the seven groups, so they work hard to get their sets as close to perfect as possible. Vocals, choreography and arrangements are rehearsed relentlessly and refined into the polished product we’re used to seeing.

 A peek into one of these rehearsals reveals an incredible focus and teamwork. The public hype before A Capella Palooza is both the motivation for and the result of the incredible hard work of these student musicians.

This year’s A Cappella Palooza promises the incredible caliber of music that Villanova’s a Cappella lovers have come to expect from the biggest show of the year. 

Even on a campus without a formal music program, our community sees the value in arts education and loves to celebrate music together. 

With Villanova a Cappella at the helm of a party this big, there’s no doubt that it will be beyond aca-awesome.

A Cappella Palooza 2015 will start at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 20. Tickets will be sold at the door for $10, or can be purchased in advance for $8 in the Connelly Center lobby from 9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.