All UIUC A Capella Groups to perform at ‘Acatoberfest’

No Strings Attached A Capella (pictured) is one of nine groups performing at Acatoberfest. Kirsten Myles (center) performed with No Strings Attached at the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella in 2014.

By Elizabeth Dye

Acatoberfest, an annual fall a capella concert at Foellinger Auditorium, is the first major performance for the University’s a capella groups this fall. Hosted by No Strings Attached A Capella, the concert will take place on Friday at 8 p.m., featuring groups The Xtension Chords, The Rip Chords, No Comment A Cappella, The ILL Harmonic, Girls Next Door A Cappella, The Other Guys, Illini Awaaz, Chai-Town and No Strings Attached A Cappella. Last year’s concert was sold out.

The show includes separate performances by each of the nine a capella groups. Each group’s set will be jam-packed with singing, choreography and music selections ranging from hip-hop and jazz to popular hits, as well as pop mash-ups.

James Fletcher, president of No Comment A Capella and senior in Media, said his group chose to perform the three best songs in their repertoire.

“I don’t want to give away too much, but our set includes a mix of powerful musical theater belt, a slower take on an EDM hit as our ballad and a timeless duet that will make everyone want to jam on stage with us,” Fletcher said.

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Anne Mauro, music director of Girl’s Next Door A Capella and senior in FAA, said she hopes that her a capella group’s efforts in rehearsals translate during their set.

“Foellinger is such a big venue so it can be very intimidating so we’ve been preparing for it pretty much since day one,” Mauro said. “We started our new music since we’ve gotten our new members.”

Fletcher said that No Comment has been building their repertoire since the beginning of the school year for various performances, but Acatoberfest holds extra importance for the upcoming season.

“Acatoberfest hails as the first show where all of the a cappella groups on campus put their best foot forward in order to make a great first impression,” Fletcher said. “It’s the first time a lot of us get to hear each other and that’s what makes it so fun. It’s a new year, with new members and new music.”

Mauro also said that Acatoberfest sets the tone for the rest of the a capella season.

“It is a really awesome opportunity for all the groups to show everybody what each group is all about,” Mauro said. “Every group brings something different to the a capella community, so this is our first chance of the year to showcase our new group, and new members and show everybody what we’ve been working on so far.”

Joey Marsek, music director of No Strings Attached A Capella and senior in LAS, said he is looking forward to debuting the new sound of his a capella group, as well as the arrangements they have been working on. Marsek also expressed gratitude for the increasing spotlight on a capella singing.

“I think that it’s awesome that a capella is getting more attention, and its something that’s been growing in the past few years,” Marsek said. “New groups are emerging, and more people are getting involved. I’m glad people enjoy listening to us as much as we enjoy singing it.”

With the concert just days away, Fletcher said that major events like Acatoberfest remind him of his favorite parts about performing: the moments leading up to the performance itself.

“The nerves, butterflies and beads of sweat rolling down your face are priceless moments that mean you’re about to perform,” Fletcher said. “In a pre-show huddle with the group, I know that no matter what happens, I’m just so fortunate to share these experiences with 15 of my best friends and make these incredible memories that I’ll cherish forever.”

Members will be selling tickets on the Quad at $5 for students and $7 for adults from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. On the night of the concert, tickets cost $7 for students and $10 for adults at the door.

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