By Dylan Toolijian
If you’ve seen “Pitch Perfect,” then you know exactly what I mean by “synchronized lady-dancing to a Mariah Carey chart-topper.”
The a cappella groups on campus have a lot more style than the Barden Bellas, but the craziness definitely comes out at the University this time of year. Could it be?
Oh, yes. It’s Palooza season.
Nova Nation loves to celebrate together at A Cappella Palooza, the year’s only singing event that features all seven of Villanova’s a cappella groups. This year’s event is shaping up to be the best so far—a larger venue, more ticket sales and, as always, killer music.
Villanova’s seven groups each have a distinct style and arrangement of student members.
The Haveners, Nothing But Treble and the Sirens are comprised of women; the Spires and Vocal Minority are men’s groups; and Minor Problem and the Supernovas are co-ed.
Each group has to balance multiple factors to be able to put on a good show—vocal technique, a cappella arranging and group cohesiveness are just a few.
A Cappella Palooza is such a massive event for the University that each group prepares its members for months in advance, constantly creating, editing and taking apart set lists that they think will showcase their talents best.
The intense preparation, many of the singers attest, is a small price to pay for such an explosive performance.
Typically, A Cappella Palooza is held in the Villanova Room in Connelly Center. Recent years have drawn in such a large crowd that there are not enough seats to accommodate everyone—last year, Connelly Center Cinema was used as an overflow room where audience members could watch a simulcast.
The Directors of Villanova A Cappella foresaw a similar problem this year and have moved the performance to the Jake Nevin Fieldhouse, which seats more than 1500 and will have more than enough space to accommodate the needs of the audience.
I caught up with freshman student and Supernova member Tatum Murray, who gave me her thoughts on the Palooza madness.
As a freshman, this is your first collegiate a cappella experience, right? Tell me what it’s like to be a member of the Supernovas.
Being in Supernovas is amazing. It’s so fun. I was definitely scared and intimidated coming into a group that was so close and super talented, but everyone was just so welcoming and I felt accepted into the group right away. It’s awesome because we love singing together, but we also love hanging out together.
What have the veterans in your group told you about A Cappella Palooza?
The older members talk about it like it’s the greatest thing in the world so, obviously, I am beyond excited for it. All I know is that it’s huge and awesome and crazy, so I am very excited to experience it. I can’t wait to hear what the other groups have prepared and I am super pumped to perform our songs as well.
You are a terrific guitarist and songwriter, as well as a singer. How does performing and arranging a cappella music differ from your typical style?
A cappella is very different than what I am used to. I am used to singing my original songs or taking other people’s songs and making them my own, but in an a cappella group, blending is key. I never had to worry about blending before so this is definitely a new challenge for me. I haven’t given arranging a try yet—I’m a little too scared! But I want to in the future. I anticipate it will be very different from writing a song with my guitar though.
How much a cappella experience did you have before joining the Supernovas?
I had no a cappella experience prior to joining the Supernovas. I knew it was definitely something I wanted to try out when I got to college, but I really didn’t think I would get in, since I don’t have any a cappella experience. I am so thankful and glad that it all worked out. A cappella is new to me so I have had a lot to learn over the past semester and a half, but it has been such an enjoyable and exciting experience. I definitely have found a new passion.
I don’t suppose you’ll give me a hint as to what the Supernovas will bring to the table at A Cappella Palooza, will you?
I don’t think it’s a big secret or anything, but I kind of want to be a little mysterious. I will say that our songs are all very different, which we are all really pumped about. We’re covering songs from multiple decades and genres. The arrangements are sick and the soloists are insane, so I’m thinking we will be able to put on a good show.
Tickets for A Cappella Palooza are on sale in Connelly Center all week, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., but interested Villanovans can purchase seats at the door as well for $8.00 each. Come support the groups on Friday, March 15 at 7 p.m. in the Jake Nevin Field House.