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Davis, California

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Singers descend on Davis for 7th annual HellaCapella

HellaCapella is back, and this year it’s bigger than ever.

At this year’s HellaCappella concert (the 7th annual) in Freeborn Hall on Saturday at 8 p.m., a cappella groups from Stanford, UC Santa Cruz, UC Berkeley and UC Davis will come together for one night. The show is hosted by The Spokes, UC Davis’ all-female a cappella group. Tickets are $5 presale and $8 at the door.

Since January 2004, The Spokes have traveled all around northern and southern California showcasing their singing talents. The Spokes currently have 13 members and 41 founding members who have assisted the group since spring 2004. They have released four albums since they began, including their latest, Waking up in Davis, which was released last year. Their style consists of choreography that goes with the rhythm and lyrics of the songs they perform with precise harmonizing. Not to mention their color coordinated outfits are unique to each individual singer. The Spokes are all about teamwork and having a great time doing what they love: singing.

“HellaCappella is the largest collegiate a cappella concert in Northern California, and whether you’re a fan of a cappella music or not, we know you’ll enjoy this fun, entertaining group of singers,” said Spokes member Julie Athans. “It’s a must-see Davis tradition and we’re so happy to get to host it every year!”

From UC Berkeley comes the UC Men’s Octet, a diverse all-male a cappella group that has been up and running at UC Berkeley since 1948. Their group consists of eight talented men who love to sing. Their styles range from barbershop to doo-wop to contemporary pop to modern alternative. In addition, they have won the International Competition of Collegiate A Cappella twice.

Not only have they traveled throughout the Bay Area for performances, but they have also gone around the world to places like Europe, Australia, Indonesia and China. They often sing at UC Berkeley sports events, doing Cal fight songs.

“The Octet enjoys coming to Davis to perform in HellaCappella,” said business manager Isaac Jackson. “It’s great to be amongst such talented company, not to mention it’s ‘hella’ fun.”

AiR, or Artists in Resonance, is a co-ed a capella group that will also represent UC Berkeley. Since they started back in 1987, AiR has 14 members who do alternative rock songs, hip-hop songs, and more. They’ve competed in numerous a cappella competitions around California and even internationally. The group prides itself on being the first mixed a capella group to hit the campus.

The all-female California Golden Overtones, from Berkeley, will also hit the stage. They’ve been singing to their own tunes for over 20 years, performing gigs around the Bay Area, on-campus and beyond.

Dil Se is another Berkeley a capella group, but with a different spin. They are a co-ed South Asian group that mixes Hindi style with Western style to create a different kind of a cappella experience. Founded in 2004 by Arjun Ohri, this group’s musical versatility is unique in and of itself.

“Dil Se is home for some of us who are trying to find a common ground between our South Asian heritage and American upbringing, or for those of us who are just experimenting with cross breeds of musical genres,” said Dil Se member Anirudh Srirangam. “We just love singing!”

Representing Stanford are the Stanford Harmonics, a co-ed group of more than a dozen talented voices who have been in the mix since the ’90s. They have been releasing albums since 1995, with their most recent album having been released back in 2008, entitled Escape Velocity. The Harmonics have received great reviews by various writers from local media and other critics. This group is one of nine a cappella groups on the Stanford campus. They perform in freshman dorms around campus and are scheduled for a big performance in late May.

“We are so excited to have the opportunity to sing and perform at UCD with other a cappella groups!” said business manager Sarah Rudolph.

Also from Stanford comes Fleet Street, a group of all-male a cappella singers who, since 1981, have been meshing music and comedy together to generate an old-fashioned kind of musical encounter. Most of the music they perform is written by different members from the group and include a lot of sketch-comedy-type humor. Created when a few guys were rejected from joining another a cappella group on-campus, Fleet Street brings good humor in the form of musical talent.

UC Santa Cruz will bring Acquire, a co-ed a cappella group that began in 2007. They include a plethora of songs in their repertoire that have been arranged by members of the group. They host their own a cappella event on campus once a year as well, entitled the Acquirefest. They also perform a “Disneymania” show in which they sing nothing but old Disney songs from the classic movies most college students grew up on.

UCSC will also unleash Cloud 9, a co-ed a cappella group four years in the making. According to their website, they arrange their own pieces and do classic rock, indie and hip hop to name a few.

“Cloud 9 is totes excited for HellaCappella; it’s honestly one of our favorite shows to sing at every year,” said Ian De Borja, a member of the group. “The week leading up to the show is always intense for us though; in addition to 72 straight hours of rehearsal, we usually have to keep ourselves to a strict three meals a day diet mainly consisting of McRibs and Sunny D to ensure a good performance for the fine people of Davis.”

LEA MURILLO can be reached at arts@theaggie.org.


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