By about 8:45, there was already a huge crowd outside of the Kay Spiritual Life Center on the campus of American University of students in anticipation for what they were about to hear inside – a taste of the a cappella groups of American University. By the time the doors opened at 9pm, there was no a seat to be found anywhere – people were standing in the back of the center and taking in the spectacle of each group’s performance.
The Fall Preview Show at American University took place on American’s campus last Friday, and takes place as a recruiting tool for potential new members. Each of the four groups performed 3 or 4 songs, which was followed by an announcement of the weekend’s audition dates. And let me tell you, each group was wonderful and left me wanting more.
Leading off the night was the oldest co-ed group on campus, Dime a Dozen. They performed a diverse and dynamic set, starting with “Gunpowder and Lead” by Miranda Lambert and closing with Maino’s “All The Above.” But, the song that really got to me was their middle selection, “A Change in My Life”, which is performed by the Supermen of a cappella, Rockapella. The soloists in this piece were absolutely fantastic and really shimmered throughout – to the point that I was getting goose bumps. And, for those who know me or will come to know me, I only get goose bumps if something blows me away. So, Dime a Dozen, way to go!
They were followed by American’s other co-ed group, Blends with Benefits. For a group that is only three semesters old and is still getting off their feet, I was really impressed with the quality of their sound. They sang some popular songs that you hear on the radio, such as “Somebody That I Used to Know” by Gotye and “Fix You” by Coldplay, which may be one of my favorite songs of all time. And they absolutely killed it on both pieces – the soloists in each were spectacular and it really showed that they were feeling what they were singing about, which for me is very important. But, the memorable moment for me about Blends with Benefits – they took me back to my childhood with their 3rd selection that had the whole audience laughing. Now, I have to admit, I never got into the whole Pokémon craze back in elementary school, but my younger brother did and played with all of his friends. So, when they started singing the Pokémon theme song, needless to say, I knew what it was as soon as they started singing and couldn’t stop laughing and smiling, thinking of my brother with his trading cards. Thank you for making me feel young again.
As soon as they walked off stage, you could feel that the excitement level in the room was changing and that something amazing was about to happen. I didn’t really have enough to wonder why before On A Sensual Note, American’s all-male a cappella group ran onto stage and the whole place went nuts! After the first song, I could see why. Not only did they have an awesome set and a group of guys that can really sing, but their energy on stage was infectious. No matter what they did, it got a cheer from the crowd, including when they introduced a cut-out Justin Bieber as the “guest” on stage for their final number, “Somebody to Love” by Queen. Their whole performance had such a full sound and you could tell that they were having fun throughout. Also, a shout out must go out to their high tenor (if I remember correctly, his name was Jimmy?) – both myself and Jeeves were very impressed!
To finish the concert, the lovely ladies from Treble in Paradise joined the change and ended the concert with great numbers such as a mashup up of Adele’s “Rumour Has It” and “Someone Like You” and a tribute medley to Whitney Houston that included “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and “Will Always Love You”, which I thought was one of the best arrangements of the night – the balance between the two pieces was great and I was very impressed with the use of their dynamics throughout the whole set. I definitely felt the emotion of each piece that they sang and thought they tackled each of their songs very well.
Congratulations to all of the groups on a successful night – we here at The Embassy hope that your auditions went well and that you have amazing new members. For those who aren’t as familiar with American University a cappella, be sure to check them out whenever there is a concert. We will be sure to update you with events on our calendar as we are made aware of them.