A cappella season has reached a fever pitch, and you can’t tell us it’s not a sport, dad.
If you haven’t experienced the triumphs and defeats, the epic highs and lows of collegiate a cappella, now is the time. All five contemporary Rochester a cappella groups are hosting performances, gunning for the honor of having the most culturally relevant show theme and the most impressive vocals. Preparations started as early as August for these groups, and now it’s game day.
The season kicked off with Mean Girls, performed by the YellowJackets on Nov. 5. Sophomore and assistant music director Đức Nguyễn was a showstopper on the field, hitting a record high 50.7 riffs per minute (rpm), and junior Jack Petrarca put in a classic performance in his three solo performances. In a rare turn of events, junior Nick Jiang employed the “get another group to make your show better” play at the top of the third quarter, bringing the Ballet Performance Group (BPG) out of the sidelines for a drive down the field complete with pirouettes and the forever crowd-pleasing attire of white button-up shirts with the sleeves rolled up.
Theme selection has taken the forefront this semester, with four out of five shows having movie themes. While regular Rochester sports all share a theme of sucking ass, a cappella thrives on the ability to adapt, while also benefiting from everyone in the crowd being incessantly drunk and annoying about it. Hecklers are commonplace in all sports, and a cappella is no different — in fact, it wouldn’t be an a cappella game without the screams of “okay choreo” and “oh my god, they’re doing THIS song?!?!” rivaling the vocal ability of the performers. While most people watch a UR football game and say “yeah, I could probably do that,” they could definitely make the mouth sounds that half of the players on an a cappella pitch do, and yet they still pay money to watch them do it! Truly, a testament to the low self esteem and lack of financial prioritization of UR students. They don’t even offer season tickets.
So, if you’re not already blacked out at 8 p.m. on a Saturday and have a hankering to sit in Strong Auditorium or Feldman Ballroom and listen to some minor-leaguers who are “just trying their best, man,” maybe the next couple games are for you. After Hours is up next on primetime, playing an “Avengers” home game on Nov. 18. The Midnight Ramblers, who will be in the ICCAs (International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella; yes, it is unfortunately exactly like Pitch Perfect, it’s literally so funny) during the spring season, are doing “Twilight” the following night, and Trebellious caps off the season on Dec. 3 with “Acapocalypse.”
Shut up, dad, for the last time, it IS a sport.