If you told me earlier in the week that I’d soon be seeing a quidditch player and a Pokémon trainer singing at the Interfaith Chapel, I might have been slightly intrigued, but I probably wouldn’t have believed you. Yet both of these fictional characters were present at Trebellious’ Halloween show — appropriately entitled “Spookapella” — on Saturday, Oct. 29. The a cappella gathering featured Trebellious — the newest coed a cappella group on the UR campus — as well as special guests Eight Beat Measure and Vocal Accent, all-male and all-female a cappella groups, respectively, from the Rochester Institute of Technology. All three groups were decked out in a variety of eye-catching costumes throughout the concert.
Fresh out of the musical womb, it would be unfair to compare Trebellious, which was formed in 2009, to other more established a cappella groups at UR. Still, the show did seem to be missing some of the crispness and overall spunk one generally expects when attending an a cappella show. What the show may have lacked in universal raw talent, however, was made up for in pure heart and what appeared to be an honest-to-God love for performance.
“We received a great turnout for the show and had a great time singing for everyone that came,” Musical Director and junior Sam Weiller said.
Administrative Director and junior Gabby Cornish had a similarly positive outlook.
“I’m confident that it all came together for a very entertaining and high quality music experience for the audience,” she said.
Although the show was free, attendees were encouraged to contribute to “Trick or Treat for UNICEF,” raising money to help the organization fight for the protection of children’s rights.
The show kicked off with Eight Beat Measure singing LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem,” which made for an energetic opening, riling up the intimate — but nonetheless enthusiastic — crowd from the onset. Although Eight Beat Measure exuded their happy-go-lucky spirit on the audience, it would have been nice to see Trebellious open the show instead of leaving the audience in unnecessary anticipation for the featured performers.
Trebellious opened with Ke$ha’s “Your Love is My Drug,” sung by junior Sophie Esquier with a harmony courtesy of Cornish. Despite the lack of space on the stage in the Chapel, Trebellious came out with some attention-grabbing choreography and backup singing that was appropriately soft and sweet.
Esquier’s voice was pleasing to listen to, although it didn’t stand out as anything particularly captivating. Plus, she seemed a little uneasy in front of an audience that would have appreciated her high-spirited interaction had she delivered one.
Trebellious has had a somewhat tumultuous history since it began two years ago. The group grew out of what was originally just a bunch of friends who like to sing, and has since grown to perform at a number of events on campus as well as in the Rochester community. But they are also on a continuous quest for Students’ Association recognition. Although they have applied twice, they have been turned away because of a lack of distinction from other a cappella groups on campus. They aren’t giving up yet though — they plan to apply again this year.
“[We] are confident that we’ve built a case for recognition significantly stronger than we have in the past and are hopeful that [the] SA will realize the ever-increasing demand for a cappella on this campus, as well as our growth as a group musically and as a factor in the UR campus community,” Cornish explained.
The group certainly had some shining moments at “Spookapella.” Their mashup of “Blackbird” and “Dear Prudence” by The Beatles and featured solos from freshman John DeCourcey and senior and secretary Amber Lockrow, both of which were clear, refreshing and captivating in every sense. DeCourcey’s elegant voice drew me in from the first line of the song and Lockrow was similarly engaging. I’m not usually one for slower songs, but this one left me in rapt attention.
It wasn’t all serious, though. The set list took a turn for the nostalgic with Trebellious’ rendition of the Pokémon theme song “Gotta Catch ‘em All.” The song featured junior Pablo Galicia — appropriately costumed as Pokémon trainer Ash Ketuchum — and Lockrow, once again, as soloists. Lockrow’s voice rang strong, but Galicia’s was occasionally drowned out by the background singers. Any shortcomings vocally, though, were made up for in humorous choreography that the audience lapped up.
Spookapella was ultimately a concert with a relaxed, friendly and welcoming feel to it. The small venue allowed for a stronger sense of connection between the groups and the audience, not to mention the often magical quality of the sound due to the natural amplification from the Chapel’s architecture. They might not be “Sing-Off”-worthy quite yet, but Trebellious sure puts on a delightful show.
Goldin is a member of the class of 2013.