Appalachian State University’s a cappella groups competed in the seventh annual Acappellageddon at the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts on Sunday evening in a three-hour-long, nearly sold-out show.
The event was hosted by musical comedy duo Dakaboom, who kept the crowd entertained with songs and skits between each group’s performances.
Throughout the evening, the a capella groups took turns performing three songs each and competing for awards such as Best Beatboxer, Best Soloist, Best Ballad and several more.
“It’s just a friendly competition between all eight of the a cappella groups on campus,” said Adrienne Sader, graduate assistant for the Special Events council of Appalachian Popular Programming Society. “The purpose is to showcase the talent on campus, because a cappella is really big here.”
There are two all-male groups at Appalachian, VoiceMale and Higher Ground; three all-female groups, Ear Candy, The Mountain Ayres and Treble Attraction; and three co-ed groups, Streets Ahead, Lost In Sound and Enharmonix.
Several positive changes were made to the event this year.
“This is the first year we’ve been in Schaefer, and this is the first year we’ve all had a microphone,” said VoiceMale president and music director Michael Grimes.
This was also the first year an Audience Pick category was added to the list of awards. Audience members had the chance to vote for their favorite group on www.surveymonkey.com after the show. VoiceMale won the audience pick, while Enharmonix won the Best Overall category.
Another first for Acappellageddon was the hiring of professional hosts. Dakaboom members Paul Peglar and Ben McLain have appeared on TV shows such as “Glee” and “The Sing Off” and spend their time touring colleges across the country. The duo was impressed by the enthusiasm displayed by the audience for Appalachian’s a cappella scene.
“You filled out an entire theatre just to see your school’s a cappella groups; that’s insanely rare,” Peglar said during the event. “I’ve never seen anything like that. What you have is really special. And a nice facility and people who are into it and money to support it, that’s awesome.”
The sense of fun and community that the a cappella groups have when performing together, as well as the energetic response from the audience, was evident throughout the evening.
“I’m a music major and I love performing, and you get out here and the crowd’s really into it and it’s a packed house – you can’t beat it,” said VoiceMale member Andrew Scroggs.
Songs from several genres were performed, from VoiceMale’s arrangement of Beyonce’s “Halo” to Treble Attraction’s version of the classic rock song “Carry On My Wayward Son.”
The groups typically have one person who arranges the music, although all of the members give feedback.
“We collectively decide our set list as a group,” said Ear Candy vice president Hannah Adams. “We bring song options to the group and sit down and vote on them, so everyone has an influence.”
Above all, the tight-knit friendships that form within the groups are what make the hard work worth it.
“They’re family,” said Ear Candy secretary Bailey Wilson of her group members. “That’s a pretty typical answer, but definitely.”
Story: Adrienne Fouts, Intern A&E Reporter
Photos by Maggie Davis