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Lovapalooza: An a cappella showcase that celebrates Valentine’s Day demonstrates present musical talent at Brandeis

A cappella groups from Brandeis and the Boston area performed to celebrate Valentine’s Day last Saturday as part of Lovapalooza, an event hosted by the Brandeis men’s a cappella group, VoiceMale.

Brandeis groups Starving Artists, Rather Be Giraffes, Too Cheap for Instruments, Company B and Up the Octave were featured throughout the night. A cappella groups from other Boston area colleges performed at the showcase, including Pitch Please from Northeastern University, the Chorallaries from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Sirens from Simmons College. With the approaching stress of midterms, students were able to take a relaxing break to enjoy the music being delivered in front of them.

Company B opened up the night with classic love songs. Standouts from their performance included “You Can’t Hurry Love,” soloed by Isabella Stahler Stork ’18 and their take on Ray Charles’ “Georgia On My Mind.” The solos were passionate, and the singers’ strong vocals set the jazzy scene of the song.

Up The Octave followed with Gnarles Barkley’s “Crazy,” soloed by Emily Arkin ’20 and Rihanna’s “California King Bed,” soloed by Lily Bickerstaff Richard ’20. Their covers of these songs were mellower than the originals, but the soloists made the renditions stand out. Both Arkin and Richard have impressive vocal ranges and made the solos their own.

Too Cheap For Instruments, another Brandeis group that focuses on folk music, took the stage next. The songs they performed were also mellow takes on the original versions, such as “Ophelia” by The Lumineers. The dynamics delivered by the background vocalists created a pleasant ambiance of the overall performance.

Up next to sing was Rather Be Giraffes, a pop a cappella group. They sang Ed Sheeran’s greatest hits in a jazzy way, with immense levels of energy, in addition to the abundance of emotion in their vocals. Another pop oriented a cappella group, Starving Artists, opened their set with Sam Smith’s “Nirvana,” soloed by Isi Filipovic ’18 and Brian Rauch ’19. The group did a nice gospel take on the song. Their second song, “I Found” by Amber Run, incorporated a great use of lower tones and dynamics, enhancing the darker ambiance of the song.

Three outside groups, The MIT Chorallaries, Northeastern’s Pitch Please and the Simmons Sirens also made appearances throughout the night. The MIT Chorallaries stood out the most out of the non-Brandeis performances. The highlight of the performance was certainly their rendition of Evanescence’s “Bring Me To Life.” Not only did they earnestly turn this emo song into an opera ballad, but their visual choreography was on point. Their high level of energy engaged the audience. The background vocalists seemed just as passionate about what they were singing as the soloists, while incorporating phenomenal dynamics in their performance.

VoiceMale concluded the evening’s program with a Beatles medley of “Dear Prudence” and “Hey Jude,” in addition to Panic at the Disco’s “Death of a Bachelor.” The Beatles medley consisted of powerful dynamics and passionate solos, while “Death of a Bachelor” illuminated the impressive vocal ranges from the members in the group. Overall, each of the a cappella performances last Saturday manifests the existing musical talent not just on the Brandeis campus, but of other universities in the local area as well. Definitely be on the lookout for more a cappella performances from these a capella groups this semester. It is worth checking out!

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