A capella groups create unique harmony

By Courtney Bottazzi

Staff Writer

What happens when two a capella groups mix? Beyond Unison found out for themselves to create a new type of melody.

This past Sunday in Trout Auditorium, Beyond Unison hosted the all-male a cappella group, VoiceMale, from Brandeis University.

VoiceMale, founded in 1994, won many awards over the years and was nominated for four CARA’s (Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award) in December.

“It’s always exciting to sing with a cappella groups from different schools because there is so much we can learn from each other. It is really cool to see the different styles and techniques that every group has to offer. VoiceMale is a very talented group. They just released an album that has been nominated for several awards and there are only seven of them, so each of them has a lot of responsibility musically,” said Annie Schulenburg ’13, Beyond Unison’s musical director.

The seven boys of VoiceMale changed the energy of the auditorium in a moment’s instance, from jumping and clapping to arousing excitement with songs like “Marry Me” by Train.

“Brandeis’s VoiceMale reached out to us and asked if we would be willing to host them at Bucknell during their spring tour. We gladly said yes, particularly since this group is very talented. They’ve been featured on many highly sought-after collegiate a cappella compilation albums and have won numerous awards. I thought the performance went great. VoiceMale’s style and sound are very different particularly because of the small size of the group. Each person only sings one voice part which gives the group a very distinct and unique quality,” said Ryan Tomasello ’12, president of Beyond Unison.

The alternating of the two different sounds from each group became one of the most exciting parts of the performance.

“When we performed at Bucknell, we alternated taking the stage for every other song.  This allowed for some back-and-forth between our groups, which made the performance that much more humorous. It’s awesome to hear a bunch of different group’s music,” VoiceMale member Jason Sugarman said.

The audience was able to witness this exclusive yet harmonious a cappella camaraderie between the two groups. Flirtatious dedications went out from VoiceMale to members of Beyond Unison while the two groups intertwined comedy into their performances. “Your move!” was shouted from one of VoiceMale’s members as they took their seats and gave Beyond Unison the stage.

This unusual performance was like the University’s very own friendly rendition of the Sing-Off; VoiceMale auditioned for this and was able to make it to the top 30 groups being considered.

Until the next round of auditions, VoiceMale will continue to establish itself by touring around the country during time off from school.

“So far touring has been exciting, exhausting and definitely worthwhile. We get to experience different parts of the country, different styles of a capella and meet some great singers. We’d like to thank Beyond Unison for a fun show and for being such amazing hosts, and we had a great time staying at Bucknell,” Sugarman said.

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