Fans cheer Acappellooza for reviving choral music

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Singers from One Note Stand, an a capella ensemble from UT, rehearse in a stairwell of the Art Building prior to Acappellooza, a benefit concert for victims of the Central Texas wildfire.

Photo Credit: Tamir Kalifa | Daily Texan Staff

To the cheers and screams of an audience of more than a hundred, “Acappellooza” kicked off Tuesday night with performances from One Note Stand, Hum A Cappella and The Ransom Notes as part of a benefit for Bastrop fire victims.

Radio-television-film senior Ali Haji said last year’s director of Ransom Notes created “Acappellooza.” Acappellooza is the group’s attempt to bring large scale a cappella performances to the University, Haji said. Haji is the current director of Ransom Notes, which has held performances since 1996 when it was founded by two Plan II students, who began by holding rehearsals and auditions in their dorm room.

“This is the second annual Acappellooza,” Haji said. “All the a cappella groups come together here in one concert to provide a nice free concert that anyone can attend, and we found it appropriate for this year’s performance to make it a benefit for victims of the fires.”

The music of a cappella is a style of choral music including soloists and singers mimicking instruments, which has not always been popular in Texas, said music and Jewish studies senior Sam Rosen, musical director of The Ransom Notes.

“A cappella is basically choral to the tune, contemporary songs with a soloist and accompanying singers who mimic the sounds of instruments from drums to guitar,” Rosen said. “You could say that we sing unpopular songs by popular artists.”

While The Ransom Notes and One Note Stand led with takes on well known pop songs like Cee Lo Green’s “Forget You”, South Asian Hum A Cappella led with a combination of Hindi and English music. Hum started with a performance of “Bewafa” and then ended on a combination song of Re Piya and Adele’s “Rolling the Deep”, enhancing the diversity of the show and bringing loud applause from the audience.

UT is one of many colleges in the country that does not have a large scale a cappella scene, unlike the west and east coast, where a cappella has a much longer standing tradition in college campuses, Haji said.

“The South has never generally had large a cappella groups,” Haji said. “Other schools have had this sort of thing and The Ransom Notes had the idea to bring it here to UT.”

Students responded very enthusiastically to the show, cheering to their friends and peers performing.

“It was really great,” said psychology sophomore Michelle Robichaux. “It was a nice surprise to see that we can actually do a cappella in Texas.”