In the long hot hallway of the historic Hart House they gathered together. With their throats they rumbled from their deep bass tones to their high-pitched falsettos. It was like a homecoming game with local teams squaring off against foreign rivals from across the continent…. or ummm GTA. Each director assembled their troops and blasted the crowd with pure sheer musical ability. It was Michael Bay meets Martin Scorsese in a scene of draw dropping epic dramatic action drama…… comedy. Some were suffering from vocal nodules while others suffered from a lack of matching uniforms. The stage was set and the pitch pipe briefly hummed as the singers assembled in unison; Acappellooza had begun!
Now if my storyboarding abilities in that last paragraph didn’t give you an idea of what I did this last Sunday night then I guess I’ll have to be more clear. I went and saw some students sing… a cappella. This wasn’t just your ordinary run-of-the-mill a cappella though. Acappellooza is the annual gathering of Canadian collegiate groups in the GTA which brings out some of the best talent from in and around the city in aca-awesome singing chops. Thus these aren’t your average glee club groups we are talking about here nor your old-school barbershop quartets – these were some high calibre a cappella acts who performed two stellar shows. A total of six groups from U of T, York, and even Waterloo came out to show us just what they could do with nothing more than their voices.
The evening had a little bit of everything, from a jazzy a cappella group to two groups who are competing in the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella’s semifinals this upcoming weekend in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Even U of T’s very own Varsity Jews (that’s actually the name of their group) performed a hilarious rendition of “Wrecking Ball” to which it can only be summed up as “Matzah Ball”. The Hart House debates room was packed full with tons of friends and family clapping and grooving along to each song.
Mid way through the nights program the crowd also got the chance to witness a six way beatbox battle between all of the groups vocal percussionists. This quick little interlude could easily have been turned into it’s own mini show considering the abilities of each participant. All in all I have to say it was a wicked experience and I highly encourage you to check out some a cappella on campus.
Before I sign off though I wanted to quickly include some links here for the two Canadian groups heading to the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (or just ICCA’s, what a mouthful) this upcoming weekend. It’s actually quite a historic moment for these groups because it will be the first time that two Canadian a cappella groups will be competing in the semi finals together.
The Intentional Accidentals from University of Waterloo sang a cover of Adele’s “Skyfall” midway through their set on Sunday night and I thought it to be definitely worthy of a mention here in this post. While U of T’s very own TBA. tunes. beats. awesome. (or simply TBA) delivered some explosive vocals with their own twist on “Wrecking Ball”, check it out here (that soloist is a total cutie too, brownie points!). I wish both of these groups the best of luck this weekend, and hope that all you readers out there check out the aca-amazing a cappella talent on campus (ha, aca-funny).