Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Headed Toward Competition? A Ca-Believe It!

    Nicole Schlaeppi • The Spectator

    The a cappella craze has made a lot of noise on the Seattle University campus this year.

    The school’s oldest a cappella group suffered a blow after losing many members to graduation, transfers and commitment problems—the group fell from 17 to five. Olivia Ghersen, president of Unauthorized to Harmonize, went through a lot of trouble to continue the group after last year.

    Nicole Schlaeppi • The Spectator
    Nicole Schlaeppi • The Spectator

    The a cappella group may now be made up of mostly new members, but Unauthorized to Harmonize is working hard to compete in ICCA this upcoming February.

    “It was nerve-wracking right from the beginning, so I stepped up and said ‘I want this group to continue,’” she said.

    With Ghersen, senior Justin Barnes took over the roles of Vice President, Treasurer and sometimes composer.

    “We needed someone to be the main bitch,” said Ghersen. “So I’ll be the main bitch.”

    Auditions were then held for UTH along with Duly Noted and Drop the Bass. All three a cappella groups were in conversation with each other about accepting new members to respective groups.

    UTH brought the team up to 13 members for the current year after hosting open auditions at the beginning of fall quarter. Returning members were concerned about the longevity of the team, so they were sure to admit younger members. Each member, however, was aware that the group planned to compete this year and that meant the commitment would be serious.

    UTH has been rehearsing three songs twice per week: “Bottom of the River” by Delta Rae, “In My Life” by The Beatles, and “Ain’t No Other Man” by Christina Aguilera. The group has performed all three in the past, but has since worked on perfecting them for the International Championship of Collegiate a Cappella (ICCA).

    “It’s like what they do in ‘Glee,'” Ghersen said. “Or ‘Pitch Perfect’ where you have to prepare three songs that are choreographed. We have to all be wearing the same thing, and it’s impressive the more songs and mash-ups you can do. It’s definitely very competitive.”

    The group recorded these performances, paid a submission fee and uploaded the video to a YouTube channel for review. They will hear back from the Washington ICCA on Nov. 15.

    If UTH makes it to ICCA, they will be competing against other college a cappella groups in Washington, like groups from the University of Washington and Pacific Lutheran University, should those choose to perform; the competition will begin in February in Bellingham, Wash., to see who moves on to the next round.

    Ghersen thinks that moving to ICCA will force the group to really work on their choreography to ensure that both the singing and dancing go smoothly.

    UTH looks forward to their winter concert, where they will perform with Duly Noted and Drop the Bass. The concert will take place at the Student Center Hearth at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 23.

    Editor-in-Chief Kellie Cox is a member of Unauthorized to Harmonize.

    Duly Noted

    Sophomore Morgan Schutte and junior Noel Chapman are part of the all-female a cappella group Duly Noted. The group features seven women who typically cover contemporary music. For their upcoming winter concert, the group is practicing “Titanium” by David Guetta and “Fix You” by Coldplay, as well as “Santa Baby” as their Christmas piece.

    For both women, there was an element of music that was missing from their lives and they have found solace in Duly Noted.

    “The beauty of [Duly Noted] being new is that we can make it what we want,” said Chapman.

    “It’s really group-driven, and that is what we wanted,” said Schutte. “We didn’t want [to be a group with] a dictator.”

    Drop The Bass

    Lucy Spicer is the president and founder of Drop the Bass, a female a cappella group dedicated to barber shop and classic jazz style. The group was formed this year. Eight women make up the group and have been practicing “Mr. Sandman” and other classic a cappella pieces that define their style for upcoming concerts.

    “You know there’s a line in the movie ‘Pitch Perfect’ where they say you have to work really hard if you don’t have a bass,” said Spicer. “I think girls don’t need a bass to have a good a cappella group.”

    Spicer handpicked a few friends and colleagues for their musical talents and then completed the ensemble with a cappella auditions this fall.

    Drop the Bass hopes to perform at Scratch, coming up at Lee Center on Nov. 26.

    “It’s really fun,” said Spicer. “We all get along really well because at the end of the day the people who tried out want to be in the group, so we all have that shared interest.”

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