Boston College welcomed all of its a cappella groups to perform on Friday, August 30, for a back to school A Cappalooza. Each group flaunted its unique identity and performance style. The show featured performances by The Sharps, The Common Tones, The Acoustics, Against the Current, The Bostonians, The Dynamics, Black Experience in America Through Song (B.E.A.T.S.), and The Heightsmen.
The Sharps were introduced by their president, Lily Higgins, MCAS ’20. The Sharps, as the only all-female a cappella group on campus, emphasized their unique identity with songs that were well-suited for female vocals and explore female identity. The group’s songs—“Electric Love” by Børns and “A Natural Woman” by Aretha Franklin—featured solos by Caitlin Mahon, MCAS ’21, and Maggie Chipman, MCAS ’21.
The Common Tones was introduced by president Frankie Marrone, MCAS ’20, as a group that fuses music with service to promote a sense of community and spread “common tones” throughout campus and beyond. Marrone mentioned the club’s dedication to volunteer work by visiting Children’s Hospitals to sing for the patients. Their first song, “Lost in Japan” by Shawn Mendes, was sung by Marrone, and was followed by Olivia Constantino, MCAS ’21, singing “Chandelier” by Sia. Constantino’s vocals sparked cheers and shouts of disbelief at her talent and range from the audience.
Next was The Acoustics, who describe themselves as a “fun, quirky, and theatrical” a cappella group. They performed “Thunderclouds” by Sia and LSD with soloists Egun Im, MCAS ’22; Tonye Ikoli, MCAS ’20; Mcphillips Akukwe, CSON ’22; and Gabi Frandina, MCAS ’21. “Thunderclouds” had the audience fawning over the smooth vocals of soloists Ikoli and Akukwe. Im sung with strong confidence and a deep voice that contrasted nicely to Billie Eilish’s airy voice during a mashup of the pop star’s “Bellyache” and “Ocean Eyes.”
Ryan Lee, MCAS ’20, introduced Against the Current and noted that its catalog focuses on songs of Christian faith. The group’s first song was Sia’s “To Be Human,” which featured soloist Joon Park, MCAS ’21, and beatboxer Brandon Sung, MCAS ’22, performing alongside one another with a give-and-take attitude. Against the Current’s following song, James Bay’s “Us,” was sung by Yujun Jung, MCAS ’21, and Ivey Choi, MCAS ’19, both of whom had excellent harmonies while maintaining a strong rapport as they sang to each other.
The Bostonians, introduced by Chris Cheeseman, MCAS ’20, followed. Cheeseman spoke of the group’s trips to Montreal, Ireland, and Canada and how the members “love singing and they love each other.” Their first song was “What You Don’t Do” by Lianne La Havas with soloist Jamie Kweon, MCAS ’21, and their second song was “Slow Dancing in the Dark” by Joji with Cheeseman performing a solo. Rob Sangirard, the group’s beat boxer and CSOM ’20, made sure the songs’ beats and more technical aspects were not lost during the set.
The Dynamics, like The Sharps, sang “Electric Love” with soloist Emma Roney, MCAS ’22. The Dynamics differentiated their version from that of The Sharps by placing a stronger emphasis on the beat with more beatboxer involvement. The co-ed group also performed “Weight in Gold” by Gallant with a solo by Gabe Santos, MCAS ’22.
B.E.A.T.S. opened its performance the way it does for every show: with the Black National Anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing” by James Weldon Johnson. Its follow-up song was “No Scrubs” by T.L.C., which featured solos by Khayli Petigny, MCAS ’22; Jamarii Johnson, CSON ’22; and Kassandra Quinlan, LSOE ’22.
The Heightsmen, BC’s only all-male a capella group, closed out the night. The group opened its set singing “Somewhere Beyond the Sea” by Bobby Darin, with solos from Ted Izzo, CSOM ’20, and ended with “Treasure” by Bruno Mars, which included a solo from DJ Brown, MCAS ’22. Students danced in their seats during the set, all while the boys sang fan favorites with dashing smiles and charismatic looks.
In years past, BC has hosted this performance during Welcome Week. This year, however, Higgins, who is president of The Sharps, took to planning the performance with the other a cappella groups on campus, according to Alex Eichler, a member of The Common Tones and MCAS ’20. The coordination among the groups resulted in a strong showing and a warm introduction to the a cappella community.
Featured Image by Heights Archives