Singing — or rather, singing well — is a considerably difficult task. I think that’s pretty much agreed upon, right? But singing, without instrumentals, while harmonizing, on an empty stage in front of an eager audience… Well, that’s a whole different ball game.
Boston University’s a cappella groups not only showed up to the challenge but blew me away with their mastery and talent last Friday at the BU Treblemakers’ Night of BU A Cappella showcase.
A long line snaked through the hallways of the College of Arts and Sciences as people slowly packed into the Tsai Performance Center in anticipation of the event, which featured performances from each of BU’s 13 a cappella groups.
Just as ushers finished packing audience members into every available seat of the auditorium, the lights dimmed, and the night was kicked off with a performance from the BU Treblemakers, the all-gender a capella group that hosted the event.
Overcoming an annoyingly faulty mic which cut in and out for nearly her entire solo, Pia Hamel proved herself the true MVP of the event with her solo in “Hypotheticals.” Hamel’s voice was not only effortlessly beautiful as she showcased her range, but also powerful. It seemed to fill the empty space of the stage with passion and warmth.
After a second performance of the song in the finale of the show — this time with a working mic — along with a rendition of “Before I Let Go,” the Treblemakers solidified their place as one of BU’s premier a capella groups with their command of the stage and pitch-perfect arrangements.
The first half of the show featured performances from seven of BU’s a cappella groups: The BosTones, Aural Fixation, Terpsichore, Kol Echad, Dear Abbeys, Mustard Seed and BassLine.
A sure-fire highlight of this first half was the Dear Abbeys, BU’s only all-male identifying a capella group, who have been performing on campus for over an impressive 30 years.
More memorable than their identical suits and bright red ties was the group’s entrance — filing on stage and pretending to stretch before performing “Big Yellow Taxi.” The Dear Abbeys were animated, passionate and comfortable on stage, a clear audience favorite.
After a 10-minute intermission, five more groups performed: Allegrettos, Suno, Forte, Chordially Yours and In Achord.
Though each group blew me away with their unique sound, it was Suno, BU’s premier South Asian/Western Fusion a cappella team, that stood out. Suno, which means “listen” in Hindi, showcased their ability to blend genres, styles and culture into a seamless performance.
The growing intensity of vocals from soloists Amani Chinni and Soumya Sathe as they performed “Ghanan Ghanan” and “Taal Se Taal,” were perfectly complementary and beautifully piercing to the point where I literally got goosebumps.
The mesmerizing nature of the group’s coherency both vocally and when they spun in a circle and danced around on stage, all while still singing, captivated the audience and ended with an incredibly enthusiastic ovation.
All-in-all, The Treblemakers’ Night Of BU A Cappella event perfectly showcased the identities of BU’s 13 acapella groups. Each group harnessed its own sound beautifully while maintaining the individuality of its performers and demonstrated an impressive amount of skill. NOBUAC 2022 was a massive success.