UA a cappella groups find their sound
With six groups on campus, each brings different goals and talents to the stage
Cat Call A Capella is an all-male A Capella group at the University of Arizona. They are celebrating their tenth anniversary this year.
A cappella is just as much about the friendship as it is about the music, a common theme drawn between the six singing groups on campus.
The a cappella groups at the University of Arizona are CatCall, Noteriety, Ellervator Pitch, Amplified A Cappella, Dolce Voces and Enharmonics. Each group has their own, unique vibe but one thing they have in common is the love for what they do.
“It's a different sound, it’s more fun, it’s a new perspective,” said Gabe Sulser, the President’s Aide for CatCall.
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CatCall has been hired for weddings and other events, where they "like to put their own twist" on a mash-up of songs. Their rehearsals aren’t like the average high-school band rehearsals.
According to Sulser, they embody the feeling of brotherhood, whether it’s through a surprise appearance of one of their alumni or through the friendly greetings as soon as a member walks in the door.
Each group also participates in several competitions throughout the year as a way to put their practice to work. The competition at the collegiate level has each group competing in the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella, the ICCAs.
Andy Nguyen, the social media director for CatCall, describes collegiate a cappella as “a cool mix of something professional and casual.”
“We usually add our own twist, mash-up, or the way we arrange is different. It’s a cool take on modern music,” Nguyen said.
Anyone and everyone with an appreciation of music and the ability to sing can audition and is encouraged to do so by both Nguyen and Sulser.
“We try to have a good sound, and that's the most important thing, because every year we have a different sound,” Nguyen said.
They work "hard to mesh" the current group with the incoming members. They sometimes even recommend which a cappella group suits the style of the auditionee, according to Nguyen.
Each group accepts students with a variety of majors; from computer engineers to anthropology majors, a cappella does not differentiate, Sulser said.
CatCall, the all-male band, is also the oldest a cappella group on campus and is celebrating their tenth anniversary this year.
They are preparing for new members; though they cap the number of members at 18, they believe the prime group consists of 13 or 14 people.
“I was in choir in middle and high school, and then I have a math and science major, an engineering major so in class I don’t get any opportunity to do music," said Elizabeth Barnitt, the president of Noteriety. "So I knew going into college I wanted to be in a group where I could sing with people."
According to Bryant Mitchell, Noteriety’s music director, their freshman year on campus the group dynamic was "so different than what it is now," so they continue to strive to make it better.
Noteriety, also the first co-ed group, placed 3rd at the Southwest ICCA Quarterfinals in February of 2018. This year, they hope to improve on that and make it to New York for the ICCA Finals.
Noteriety also performed at Bash at the Rec on Aug. 19 and then six days later released their new single titled, ‘Cause’ on all streaming platforms.
Arnie Ventura, the music director for CatCall, said that there are several qualities each group looks for in new members.
"First of all, they do have to be able to sing. But it's their personality, the way that they are, the way that they act, the way they present themselves,” Ventura said.
Each group has practice and performances throughout the year and encourage Wildcats to "see and hear' the work they produce. You can follow each groups music through music streaming apps or on YouTube.
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