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Wednesday, April 24, 2024
UW a capella showcase

The a capella group, The Madhatters are known around campus for their fun performances like this one in 2010. Catch them and other a capella groups at the Wisconsin Union Theater on Saturday.

A capella showcase: good tunes, goodwill

It will be one of the great gatherings, a unification to remember. Think Wilson and Churchill, Batman and Robin, Kanye and Jay-Z...well it may not be quite that epic, but this Saturday, Feb. 18 at the Wisconsin Union Theater, the a capella choirs of UW-Madison will come together to bring you a sonic treat that hits close to home.

Tangled Up in Blue, Fundamentally Sound, Redefined, The Madhatters, Pitches and Notes and Jewop have been hard at work preparing a performance for students and community members alike. Each group has something unique to bring to the table, and the showcase is a chance for audiences to sample each group's style and genre.

"Once a year we get to come together and do a concert together," Abbie Lee, President of Tangled Up in Blue said in an interview with The Daily Cardinal. "All the groups have different fan bases here on campus, so this is a chance to bring the campus a capella fans together."

With a 15 minute set list per group, the groups' diverse sounds will be clearly discernible. "Just hearing the different style of a capella Madison has to offer [is a reason to attend the showcase]," said Neal Cragg, the business manager of Fundamentally Sound. "It really gives you a chance to see how groups do things differently."

Although the groups are relatively harmonious, there has been competitive strife from time to time. The Showcase, besides being a fundraising effort, is a chance for the groups to put aside their differences and put forth a cohesive performance.

"We have, unfortunately, an environment of competition sometimes because we are competing for tickets and members," Cragg said. "The showcase fosters a sense of a capella community in Madison, which is something everybody can get behind."

These are not your classic musical ensembles: the groups will be performing their unique twists on modern hits. "We like to keep things current," Lee said. "All the songs we're doing Saturday will be newer."

To name just a few, audiences can look forward to "Don't Let Me Fall" by B.o.B. from Fundamentally Sound, "Without You" by Usher from Pitches and Notes and a Destiny's Child medley from Tangled Up in Blue.

The groups have certainly had their fair share of slip ups: Lee recounted tales of pitches gone wrong that threw off the entire performance, and Cragg said they have had members completely forget a verse. Luckily, these are few and far between, and likely only noticeable by those with a trained ear.

The showcase is also a chance for the groups to rally around a good cause, as the proceeds of the performance will go to the American Cancer Society through UW-Madison's Relay For Life.

"It's Valentine's season, take a date," Alex Ross, President of Pitches and Notes said, encouraging students to attend. "A capella in itself is lighthearted and fun, and with the funds going to cancer research, no one would regret going."

Student tickets are $10, and will guarantee a night of unique and talented performances from students who are passionate about their art. These singers may not be professionals, but hours of practicing and a love of performing mean they take showcases like these seriously.

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"I'm not a diva," Lee giggled. "But that's what some people think we are."

Okay, maybe not too seriously.


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