“Acappellooza” is definitely not your ordinary a cappella concert.
Bringing talent from all over the country, this year”s “Acappellooza” promises to be one of the finest collaborations of a cappella singing ever assembled at the University. Hosted by the Dicks and Janes, each performing group will bring their voices and best dance moves to the Michigan Theater tomorrow night.
While the Dicks & Janes and Amazin” Blue will return to the stage from last year, “Acappellooza” also welcomes groups such as the University of Pennsylvania Off the Beat, Millikin University Chapter 6 and the Crosbys from Binghamton University. The Dicks & Janes sought out ensembles based on awards they”ve received and reputations as dynamic performers. Off the Beat, for example, has been featured on the Best of College a cappella (or BOCA) album seven times. Other groups travel extensively and have performed in venues such as Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center.
“Besides probably being the best groups on their individual campuses, all of the groups this year are among the very best collegiate a cappella groups in the nation,” said G. Clark Haynes, an Engineering senior and Business Manager of Dicks and Janes.
Though the Dicks & Janes are only three-years-old, they have quickly risen to the top of the University”s a cappella community. Each year, the group holds two large concerts, including a performance at the New Student Convocation in front of 4000 people. They are also currently putting the finishing touches on their first studio album, expected to be released next February. Functioning independently as a student-run organization, the Dicks and Janes pride themselves on their ability to bring students of diverse majors and backgrounds into the ensemble. “We have a great unified sound and vibe,” said Josh Bueller, the group”s music director.
For the Dicks and Janes, as well as other a cappella groups, arranging music is both an arduous and rewarding process. Most of Dicks and Janes” arrangements come from individuals in the group, while others are developed collectively. Music notation software such as “Finale” helps the ensemble polish their arrangements. According to Bueller, arranging of music does not require an extensive musical theory background. “You can just listen to something and know it”d be a good a cappella song,” he said.
Part of the enjoyment in having groups from other universities perform is observing the stylistic differences among them. Haynes, for instance, has noticed that East coast groups often utilize a conductor while performing, while Midwest groups tend not to. Use of choreography also varies among groups some, such as Amazin” Blue, are known for their creative dance steps as well as their phenomenal vocal ability. And of course, professional a cappella ensembles like Rockapella inspire college groups to push the musical boundaries of the human voice.
The Dicks and Janes hope that after this year, a cappella groups from around the country will be asking to perform in Acappellooza. While the group has earned the reputation for being among the University”s finest, they also hope to make Acappellooza the finest a cappella show in the country. “This year sets the precedent,” said Bueller. “Bigger and better we always look for ways to do that.”
Tickets are available at the Michigan Union Ticket Office or at the door the night of the show.