Visiting siblings can see upbeat music performances by some of the university’s a cappella groups on-campus and Uptown.
A cappella became more widely known after the release of the movie “Pitch Perfect” and its sequel. Like these films, Ohio University a cappella groups often perform cheerful songs for their audiences.
These performances are described as “a cappella” since there are not any instruments involved in the group's numbers.
Davis Sullivan, a senior studying economics, is a member of Leading Tones, an all-male OU a capella group. He said the group mainly focuses on pop songs that people will recognize. Some of their newer material includes Panic! at the Disco, Frank Ocean, Cake and Ed Sheeran.
Section 8, an all-male acapella group that is an “extension” of the Singing Men of Ohio, has a selection spanning from contemporary to music from the 80s and 90s, Courtlen Vizzuso, a senior studying political science, said.
“The whole goal is not to do Top 40 hits, but music that we care about,” Sana Selemon, a longtime member of New Chords on the Block, a male and female a cappella group, said. “(A cappella) is a great time to step away from my major and the things that are happening in my life,” Selmon, a senior studying theater said.
Ohio University’s a cappella groups have a mix of voices. A group’s compilation can lead to benefits with song choice and sound, Selemon said: there can be solos for guys and girls in New Chords without having to change the key of the song.
Leading Tones typically performs songs that were originally sung by male vocalists, Sullivan said, and while their sound may not be as “pretty” as an all-female a cappella group, it brings a “fuller” sound.
Vizzuso said Section 8 does covers of both male and female singers. One particular song they have worked on is “Let’s Hear It For The Boy” by Deniece Williams. This is possible since some of their members house high tenor voices that bring them closer to the vocals a woman can achieve.
“Bass sound is such a fundamental layer to a cappella music since you don’t have … an actual instrument to hold down so much of these low tones,” Selemon said.
New Chords has learned around 10 new songs during this current school year, a few of which were worked on during a retreat at the beginning of winter break. Selemon added that she is looking forward to singing “Misbehavin’” by Pentatonix at their Donkey Coffee performance.
Vizzuso said he’s excited for Section 8 to perform a mash-up of “Dare You To Move” by Switchfoot for Sibs Weekend since they have added a few new members which filled out the sound.
Sullivan said that Leading Tones plans to revive their Backstreet Boys medley for their Front Room performance. It has not been sung by the current members, but Sullivan recalls seeing it during a campus visit when he was a senior in high school. He added that Title IX asked them if they wanted to share the event space.
“All of the a cappella groups on campus love each other,” Selemon said.