A Cappella is Back
This blog post is by Kathleen Kelly, a junior government & politics and communications double major.
Vocalosity photo by Jeremy Daniel
One does not have to be a devoted follower of a capella music to have been completely blown away by Friday night’s Vocalosity performance. After watching Vocalosity perform, there was not a member in the audience who could deny the truth. A capella is cool again. This modern take on a capella combines current, chart-topping songs with fearless, fresh dance moves, and has completely revamped the look of a capella.
This modern twist to the traditional form of a capella is in large part thanks to Deke Sharon, a man who Entertainment Weekly dubbed, “The father of contemporary a capella.” As the producer of many wildly successful programs, including the television show The Sing-Off and the hit movie Pitch Perfect, Deke Sharon is currently the artistic and musical director of Vocalosity.
What made this 12-member ensemble so entertaining was that each member had such a distinct voice and totally different look from any of the other members on stage.
What made this 12-member ensemble so entertaining was that each member had such a distinct voice and totally different look from any of the other members on stage. However, these diverse talents somehow came together and created a group, and as a result their range and style was truly boundless. Not surprisingly, the set-list for the performance proved to be just as diverse as the ensemble itself. Vocalosity performed songs ranging from Bruno Mars to Benny Goodman, leaving the audience delighted after each number.
The group did a fantastic job including the audience in the performance, making them feel like they were a part of the musical experience. The performers spoke to the audience, asking them what songs they should perform next. At one point a performer attempted to teach the audience how to beatbox and I must say, as a member of the audience myself, we were not too bad.
One of the performances was a mashup of classic Beatles songs, which the group performed after a member of the audience requested the Beatles. There was a sing-off between the men and women on stage to the tunes of Motown, singing classics including “Stop in the Name of Love” and “My Girl.” Although they also performed modern songs, I have to say my favorite performance was set to the jazz music by Benny Goodman. The performers were dancing in the classic dance style popular in the 1930s, swinging and twirling their way across the stage. It made one long for the days when everyone knew the dance moves.
Vocalosity has been by far one of my favorite live music performances I have seen at The Clarice, and I believe it when people say that a capella is back.