A capella groups perform together for wildfire benefit

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Marketing and Business Honors Program senior, Matt Hochman, left, Music Composition senior Walter Nichols, center, and History and Plan II Honors sophomore, Arjun Awasthi, right, prepare for a Acapellooza on Sunday evening in the Union’s Sinclair Suite.

Photo Credit: Julia Bunch | Daily Texan Staff

Three of UT’s a cappella groups are coming together tonight in an attempt to raise money for victims of the recent Texas wildfires.

A cappella is a form of singing without instrumental accompaniment. While the lead vocalist sings, the other members of the ensemble create the music themselves, sometimes mimicking the sounds of instruments.

After attending an event at Texas A&M University last year in which multiple a cappella groups did a joint performance, Samantha Strauss, the former director of UT-based a capella group Ransom Notes decided it was time to show off UT’s singing groups.

So Acappellooza was born. The event features Ransom Notes, One Note Stand and Hum A Cappella. Each group will perform a set of their own before coming together to perform a medley to end the evening.

Originally created as a form of religious music, a cappella originated in universities during the early 20th century. Since its formation, collegiate a cappella groups have become widely celebrated, entertaining crowds by taking popular songs and arranging them into a new musical form completely devoid of instruments. A quick YouTube search of “a cappella” reveals more than 24,000 videos, and NBC airs its own a cappella singing competition called “The Sing Off.”
Some of those popular songs that will be performed tonight include the Ransom Notes’ version of Cee Lo Green’s “Forget You” and One Note Stand’s rendition of Estelle’s “American Boy.”

Unlike the other groups, Hum A Cappella, an entirely South Asian a cappella ensemble, opts to perform Hindi tunes as well as songs found on the radio. They have found a way to fuse the two styles of music in their mash-up of the popular Hindi song “O Re Piya” and Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep.”

“We are a musical group that imbibes cultural aspects from our various backgrounds as well as contemporary pop and rock music of today,” said Pragnya Maruwada, president of Hum A Cappella.

The second annual Acappellooza event is free, but donations are encouraged. All of the proceeds will be donated to victims of the Texas wildfires.

Printed on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 as: A cappella groups sing for fire relief