Acamazing: A capella groups put on pitch perfect performance at Acatoberfest


Audrey Miller

No Strings Attached A Capella perform at Foellinger Auditorium for Acatoberfest on Friday. Eight a capella groups performed with No Strings Attached A Capella hosting the event.

By Audrey Miller, Contributing Writer

Foellinger Auditorium bustled with excitement as friends, family and “Pitch Perfect” enthusiasts awaited the performances of the University’s eight talented a capella groups. The countdowns and pitch pipes signaled the beginning of a night to remember.

On Friday, Acatoberfest, hosted by No Strings Attached A Capella, welcomed the beginning of a new a capella season and the beginning of Halloween weekend. Filled with the witty remarks of MCs, cheers of friends supporting friends and the joy of performers on stage, the atmosphere of Acatoberfest cultivated a fun space for attendees.

Gabrielle Dagger, graduate student studying Labor and Employment Relations, has been a consistent fan of the Acatoberfest shows since her freshman year. This year was her fifth year attending the show.

“Every year, the groups just get better and better,” Dagger said. “I mean, it’s always breathtaking to just see how much growth has happened. Every single year (that) I come, I’m mind blown. And I’m like, it can’t get any better than this, and next year, it does!”

This year, eight a capella groups performed at Acatoberfest: No Strings Attached, Girls Next Door, Chai Town, Illini Awaaz, The Xtension Chords, The Rip Chords, The Other Guys and No Comment.

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    The a cappella groups filled the auditorium with harmony. Chai Town got the crowd swaying, and The Xtension Chords left the crowd giddy and excited. The Rip Chords delivered a rendition of Olivia Rodrigo’s “Traitor,” and Illini Awaaz showed off their impressive vocal range and control of Bollywood music.

    Mickie Orleans, a concert attendee, said she was impressed by the movement of the performers.

    “I mean they are moving up and down and around, beat-boxing and singing with all the dancing,” Orleans said. “It is really impressive.”

    The show was filled with friends holding posters and fans hooting and hollering. Megan Stemm, sophomore in AHS and member of Girls Next Door, said the environment was much different than last year’s event. Stemm said she saw a huge difference in audience turnout in the post-COVID era, saying that this year’s performance had twice as many audience members as last year.

    “It was just so fun to have a huge crowd and to have everyone be there,” Stemm said. “It made the whole night that much more special.”

    Every performing group had smiles on their faces and their choreography was filled with a love for the art.

    Will Green, freshman in Division of General Studies, and Adam Shane, freshman in AHS, are both singers for The Other Guys. Their performance consisted of silly dances and impressive chords that filled the hall with no microphones needed.

    Shane said having a community to connect with has been comforting as he navigates his first year at the University.

    “I’ve met so many people since I’ve started school here … It’s really hard with the names, but the faces I remember and that makes it really great,” Shane said.

    Green echoed this sentiment, saying he enjoys how close they’ve all become

    “I’m still working on a lot of names … a lot of names,” Green said. “But I feel closer to everyone. It has become a pretty close knit atmosphere.”

    Stemm also said that a capella has been a great avenue for making friends and building a community.

    “We get ready together, support each other while (we perform) and even rehearse together because we had the group song,” Stemm said.

    This year, for the first time, Acatoberfest had a song performed by all of the groups at once. A thrilling mashup of “Thriller” by Michael Jackson and “Heads Will Roll” by Yeah Yeah Yeahs. This collaborative song made the encouraging energy of the show that much more palpable.

    “Everyone’s just in great spirits because it’s around Halloween,” Dagger said. “It’s literally the perfect aura.”


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