Boston College Dance Marathon (BCDM)’s first A Cappella Riff-Off took place in McGuinn Hall on Thursday night. Five BC a cappella groups were invited to face-off in a Pitch Perfect-inspired performance to raise money for the Boston Children’s Hospital.
Through the sale of tickets, BCDM raised over $2,000 to support the Children’s Hospital. Although the riff-off’s main purpose was charity, according to Facebook, its other purpose was to determine BC’s best a cappella group. All five groups brought their A game for the competition, but The Sharps—BC’s only all-female a cappella group—managed to edge out the competition.
Competing in the event were The Sharps, The Common Tones, The Dynamics, The Acoustics, and The Bostonians. To start the competition, each group performed two songs.
The Common Tones started off the night with a beautiful rendition of Sia’s “Chandelier.” Olivia Constantino, MCAS ’21, took center stage for the song and wooed the audience with impressive high notes that even Sia would envy. “What You Don’t Do” by Lianne La Havas was a crowd-pleasing hit sung by the Bostonians.
One technical difficulty impeded all of the group’s performances: The lead singer’s microphone was not turned up as much as the others, so at times it was hard for the audience to hear to lyrics against the backdrop of the accompanying voices. Nevertheless, the groups exhibited impressive vocal skill to make the event’s first go-around a success.
Three of the five were picked to advance to the second round of the riff-off. Two of the finalists were chosen by a panel of three judges, who included two music-industry professionals and Jeremy Espano, MCAS ’19, the conductor the The Screaming Eagles marching band. The third group to advance was chosen by the audience via text message after all five groups had performed.
After much applause by an excited crowd, the three finalists were announced. McGuinn 121 reached it capacity, as the room was so stuffed by fans that the a cappella groups themselves resorted to sitting on the floor and the stairs, while still managing to cheer on their fellow groups.
The Dynamics and The Acoustics joined The Sharps in the final. For their final contributions to the competition, each group performed one song. In somewhat of an a cappella faux-pas, The Dynamics performed “Electric Love” by BØRNS, which The Sharps had previously performed in the two-song preliminary round.
The colorfully-dressed Acoustics performed “Faithfully” by Journey, while The Sharps rounded out their night with a rendition of Dua Lipa’s “New Rules.”
The Sharps, which had just added two members less than two weeks before the competition, were ecstatic at the announcement of its win, and accepted the trophy while embracing and screaming, much like the audience.
Featured Image by Ikram Ali / Heights Editor