O-Issue 2011: Inside a capella

There’s more behind the clever names.

By Hayley Lamberson

Many University of Chicago a capella groups are making a mark on campus—not only does each group put on concerts throughout the year, but many record and release albums as well. There are seven groups to choose from, and each has its own characteristics. To find out how to audition, visit the University of Chicago A Capella Council web site at acapella.uchicago.edu. Here’s a short guide to what you can expect from each:

Voices in Your Head is the most prolific group on campus, having recorded four albums and performed at international a capella competitions. They also arrange and write some of their own music. Voices is a large group, accepting both graduate and undergraduate students, so if you’re serious about singing, this is one organization to check out.

Men in Drag is one of two all-female a cappella groups. Not only does its repertoire span a variety of genres, but the group is also very active in fundraisers and other activities, making it a fun choice for all. This year, Men is Drag plans to embark on its third tour and release an album. The group also holds an annual pie/date auction every spring called “Want Love? Buy Pie!”

The Ransom Notes takes a more traditional approach to a capella. This small co-ed group performs each quarter and tours in the winter and spring.

Rhythm & Jews is easily the most eccentric group of the bunch. Despite its name, this co-ed group accepts students from all walks of life and is open to singing everything from contemporary pop to television themes. They also go on tour every winter.

Unaccompanied Women is the second of the two all-female a capella groups. The group is known for the many performances it puts on throughout the year, as well as its matching costumes. They also hold two Valentine’s Day events each year: Singing Valentines, where they sing to the recipient of your choosing, and a Speed Dating event. Check them out if you enjoy being involved in campus life.

Make a Joyful Noise is one of the smaller a capella groups on campus. As a Christian-based organization, it primarily sings Christian music, although it does branch out some. If faith and community are your thing, this is the group to see.

Finally, Run For Cover is an all-male a capella group that covers a wide range of music. Founded in 2008, it is one of the newer, more casual groups on campus. According to their website, they plan on recording an album this year.