Five minutes before the show began, a line led up to the box office in the lobby of the William’s Center for the Arts. The theater was nearly full for the 14th Annual Evening of A Cappella, which benefits Friends of Lafayette A Capella and the Daniel P. O’Neil ’06 Memorial Fund.
Lafayette’s four student-led a cappella groups, Cadence, Chorduroys, Mar-Keys and Soulfege prepared to perform. The performance also included guest ensembles the Girls Next Door, from Muhlenberg College, and The Lehigh University Echoes, who were invited to share their music.
“I like the idea of inviting people from other schools, because I think that shows that the arts are not just in the Williams Center, but extend to other dimensions outside this school,” President of the Arts Society Matt Ackerman ’18 said.
The Arts Society sponsored the event, as they have done every year since the annual show began.
“I think of us as a blanket organization, so we try to supplement and promote and run events that have to do with all areas of arts,” Ackerman said. “Our goal is to promote an inclusive society of all arts on campus, so we’re not partial.”
Ackerman and Matt Berry ’18 were the night’s hosts. Throughout the show, they incorporated comedy and reminders to donate to the causes associated with the event.
According to Ackerman, the O’Neil Memorial Fund honors the life of a former Lafayette student and the money supports senior projects in engineering with preference to civil engineering and the arts. The money from Friends of Lafayette A Cappella goes to help the a cappella groups work on special projects and attend festivals or competitions.
The event brought in $1,416 for the two causes, according to Director of Operations and Patron Services for the Williams Center for the Arts Allison Quensen Blatt. There were 322 tickets sold of the 400 possible seats at the venue. According to Blatt, 227 of those tickets were sold to Lafayette students who came to support their peers at the event.
Each Lafayette ensemble performed four songs, while the visiting groups each performed three. Some of the groups chose songs with a common theme such as Cadence’s overarching theme of love.
Students often see the a cappella groups perform individually at their seasonal concerts, so this event is unique.
“I like when it’s all the groups performing because then I get to sit and watch everyone else afterwards,” said Co-President of the Mar-keys Kara Rhodes ’19.
Each group took a different approach to their performances, which was influenced by the groups’ sizes, choreography and styles.
“When people are singing in a cappella groups, they make more noises with their mouth, they don’t sing words,” Rhodes said. “We decided it would be more interesting to do chorus songs so that way everyone gets to sing instead of just doing something small.”
Recently, Cadence has begun to take a similar approach in giving more members individualized roles in each song.
“This semester, Cadence has chosen songs with fewer solos and more choral participation,” said Cadence member Bella Fiorita ’19. “We find that it allows us to better blend our sounds.”
The evening provided an opportunity for students to come together to perform outside of their individual concerts, supporting one another to benefit the arts.