Beatboxing, classic hits and harmonious melodies filled the Mabel Brown Room this past weekend when five a cappella groups came to campus.
Keene State College’s a cappella group Chock Full O’ Notes (CFON) held their annual fall invitational on Sunday, Oct. 16, but during this performance, CFON was not the only act. Groups from UNH, UMass Dartmouth, Lyndon State and Keene High School were invited to share the spotlight.
KSC junior and music director Brendan Hoar said CFON usually has one other school perform with them during their invitationals, but this year they wanted more of a variety.
“We just figured this would be a good way to get the word out and see some other groups.
We aren’t ready for a full concert yet, and a lot of other groups are just starting out, so we figured this would be a good way for people to see snippets of us,” Hoar said.
The music performances ranged from renditions of Blackstreet’s “No Diggity” to Tori Kelly’s “Hollow,” but performers such as Hoar and CFON member and KSC junior Jen Riley said that the “James Bond Medley” was their favorite.
“It’s just the most fun,” Hoar said. “A lot of the songs we struggle with are the ones that don’t have a lot of energy and are a lot slower. Bond is more energetic, and I feel like we get more into the music that way.”
While Hoar favorites the piece for its liveliness, Riley said she admires the difficulty of it. “I think it [James Bond Medley] is one of our most complex songs and I like that it incorporates a lot of different songs mashed into one,” Riley said.
Each group brought their own flare to the stage, and one performer was able to have a hands-on experience with two of them.
KSC first-year and Keene High School graduate Sung-Ki Carty had the opportunity to perform one last time with Keene High School’s a cappella group Inertia and for the first time with CFON.
“I was nervous because I wanted to do my job well in a group as talented as CFON, but I also wanted my last chance to sing with Inertia to be the best it could be,” Carty said.
Carty was a member of Inertia for only his senior year because of a lack of male vocals in the high school.
“Inertia is a boys only a capella group at Keene High, but hasn’t existed for several years due to lack of male singers and instruction,” Carty said. “It wasn’t until the fall of 2015 that Inertia was reborn because of Michael Varno, who not only led the group, but gave me the courage to join my school choir.”
With the courage he gained from high school, Carty auditioned for CFON. Comparing them, Carty said that the college group is much more demanding. “When I sang for Inertia, practices were much more relaxed and we only rehearsed for thirty minutes a week.
In CFON, practices are very productive and vocally demanding. They are about five hours a week which is ten times more than Inertia,” Carty said.
While CFON may be more strenuous, Carty said that he is still looking forward to what is yet to come.
“At the end of the day I’m proud of Inertia’s last performance and excited for my future with CFON,” Carty said.
Olivia Belanger can be contacted a firstname.lastname@example.org