By KATIE REDMILES
On Jan. 29, 2013, the University Programming Council hosted three of the University of Mary Washington’s a cappella groups, along with the renowned group Six Appeal at the Underground’s weekly Acoustic Night.
BellAcappella, Symphonics and One Note Stand all performed as precursors to the special guest. The groups drew in a large crowd with the Underground practically bursting at the seams with people gathered to hear the unique sounds of UMW’s talent.
Six Appeal dominated the night. Opening with the ever-classic “Circle of Life,” the six well-styled young men from Minnesota stunned the audience into open-mouthed awe.
Throughout the first number, the audience roared their cheers. As they performed each song, the immense applause and cheers continually became louder and louder. The combination of beats, powerful voices, impressive dance moves and perfect harmonies made it easy to forget that they were not singing to background music.
Popular songs by Van Morrison, Maroon 5 and Gloria Gaynor helped show off the group’s vocal talents. To demonstrate their abilities even further, the group sang two original pieces, one written by Trey Jones and the other by Andrew Berkowitz, their beat boxer whose talents rival any drum machine. Berkowitz, nicknamed Berko, won a contest for songwriting, after being jokingly told that he was only allowed to sing if he wrote songs.
To add to their electric stage performance, “Six Appeal” performed humorous skits and related anecdotes between each song. The cheering faded into cracks of laughter after the end of a song. All of these factors created an available atmosphere for the students present.
“I loved them,” said sophomore Bronwyn Stokes, a psychology major and a member of “One Note Stand. “Very talented, full of energy; they put a smile on my face.”
Other members, such as freshman math major Katie Brajdic and senior history major Hannah Laughlin commented on their dance routines. They felt that their group could benefit from incorporating similar routines to their numbers.
To end a successful night, the group performed “I’m Gonna Be” by the Proclaimers. The audience was galvanized by their constant beat and energy. They included the students by having them do the “ba da da” echo that occurs in the chorus.
To add even more amusement to the already entertaining song “Gangnam Style,” Six Appeal began dancing near the end and mimicking operatic voicing for the last few verses.
Once finished, they received a standing ovation; a few students even stood up on chairs to ensure that their appreciation was noted.
On their way out, herds of students tried to obtain CDs and autographs from each member. Some of the other a cappella group members stayed to discuss their shared love of music. Six Appeal reminded the students of UMW how music, even without instruments, can provide a wonderful, aesthetic experience.