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Davis, California

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

That’s so HellaCappella!

HellaCappella is back! The annual event will host a showcase of a cappella groups, which will perform their original arrangements of popular songs in Freeborn Hall on Feb. 27.

Exposing a cappella as a new genre to audiences each year, HellaCappella is certainly gaining momentum with an anticipated sellout of 1,300 seats in contrast to last year’s 800 seating.

So what’s the buzz about this ‘a cappella’ music everyone is talking about?

“A cappella adapts the music you hear every day on the radio so that it’s sung with no back-up instruments, just with voices,” said Hilary Jenson, graduating linguistics junior and member of UC Berkeley’s Golden Overtones. “I think a cappella is kind of an inside joke between the performers and the audience: we both know it’s kind of dorky, but the performers have a lot of fun with it and hopefully that translates to the audience, too.”

Along with Davis’ own a cappella group The Spokes, HellaCappella features other college-based a cappella groups from around Northern California. This year’s line-up includes UC Santa Cruz’s Cloud 9 and Acquire, UC Berkeley’s Golden Overtones, Decadence and Stanford’s Fleet Street.

“It’s really fun to get to perform on the same stage as other great collegiate a cappella groups,” said Greer Shively, music director of The Spokes and junior interior architecture major. “Not only is it fun to watch them perform, but it’s great to see old faces, meet new faces, and hang out with them. Being in an a cappella group is such a unique thing that it’s cool to see other people that have the same interests.”

The ladies of The Spokes will host this year’s event with a variety of new and old songs; including ’80s rock ballads and popular songs ranging from Katy Perry, Sheryl Crow, Ingrid Michaelson and Stevie Wonder.

What most people don’t know is that each song goes through a long process of formation, from the selection process to the arrangements of notes and layering of vocals.

“We try to choose songs with different tones, messages and styles,” said Jennifer Pugh, senior English major and member of The Spokes. “Our set list [for HellaCappella] is a huge deal – we would never perform a song we weren’t 100% prepared and passionate about for our friends, family and fans”.

But perhaps the most important aspect of HellaCappella is it’s charitable cause to help the victims of the recent natural disaster that shook Haiti. All proceeds will go to American Red Cross for aid for the victims.

“I think college is about exposing yourself to new things and sincemusic is such a big part of almost every college student’s life, whynot expose yourself to a new style of music?” Pugh said. “So if you care about music or you care about humanity, HellaCappella is the place to be on Saturday night!”

UYEN CAO can be reached at arts@theaggie.org.

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