Annual A Capella Fest Takes the Stage

Sweet vocal harmony sent chills through everyone in the audience at Andover’s Annual A Capella Fest. The festival featured Phillips Academy’s Yorkies and Azure as well as groups from MIT and Harvard.

Phillips Academy’s all female a capella group, Azure, sang first. After being introduced by Auggie Horner’14, who served as the host for the evening, Azure opened the show with their popular rendition of Cee Lo Green’s number one smash single “Forget You.” Jordan Miller-Surratt ’12 sang the solo, and her beautiful voice had the audience cheering and singing along.

Next, Azure performed an arrangement of Green Day’s “21 Guns.” The slow but empowering song featured several of Azure’s younger members as soloists. Sarah Marcotte ’13 and Cara Daly ’13 sang the verses, while Elizabeth Paul ’12 performed the bridge and dramatic song ending.

Azure’s third song was the upbeat pop tune “Rain,” originally recorded by Blind Melon. The soloists Maeve Curley ’14, Cara Daly ’13, Sarah Marcotte ’13 and Camerin Stoldt ’12 brought a youthful feel to the fun song.

For their final song, Azure sang the soulful “Son of a Preacher Man” by Dusty Springfield. Miller-Surrat opened the song with her powerful and melodic voice, while Daly’s raw and deep sound brought the song to its climax. Casey McQuillen ’11 carried the song through the end while the rest of the group created chords in the background.

Andover’s all male a capella group, the Yorkies, performed next. Their first song was the romantic ballad “I’ll Be” by Edwin McCain. The previous time the Yorkies sang this song, the soloist Chris Cameron ’11 asked his girlfriend Shannon McSweeney ’11 to prom.

The Yorkies next song was a huge surprise for everyone, especially the audience. What started off with Michael Kontaxis ’11 singing a seemingly ordinary song quickly evolved into the bawdy tune “I take a look at my enormous penis.” Charlie Danner ’11 and Angelo Morlani ’13 also sang solos, and most of the Yorkies had hilarious one-liners such as “5 dollar foot long” and “My anaconda”.

Auggie Horner ’14 concluded the performance with his funny sense of humor by saying “Guys, size doesn’t really matter,” making the audience laugh hysterically.

MIT’s Resonance, a co-ed a Capella group, performed next. A small group with only eight members, each of them sang a different part, adding a lot of dimension to their songs. Their first song, “Just a Dream” by Nelly featured a male soloist named Colin. He performed not only very well vocally, but everything he did was entertaining in itself.

Resonance then performed a rendition of “Shark in the Water” with a female soloist. After concluding, they shared an exercise they like to do before performances called THX.

In the exercise, one person plays a note, which is the ending note. The other members then choose another random note and slide up or down to the ending note. Resonance asked the audience to pick their favorite person in the group (who most people yelled was Colin) and follow their movements. The exercise was a hit with the audience, the den shook with the sounds of the students.

Their next song was the tune “Pumpkin Soup” by Kate Nash featuring the popular refrain “I just want your kiss.” Resonance’s fourth song was the popular tune “Forget You” with Colin as the soloist. During the song, Colin became immersed in the character and starting to dramatically fake sob.

Resonance performed the song “Human” by Jon McLaughlin with Patrick as the soloist. His silky smooth voice gave the slow and heartfelt ballad a true sense of emotion. As their last song, Resonance sang “Mama knows best” by Jessie J. The soulful tune featured Melissa as the soloist, and her performance evoked the voices of the great singers Aretha Franklin and Christina Aguilera.

The Harvard Lowkeys, a coed a Capella group, were the last group of the evening. True to their name, the group sang a collection of dark and moody tunes. They first started with the famous song “Paint it black” by the Rolling Stones. They used choreographed movements to make it seem as if they were about to grab the audience.

Their next song was a mashup featuring “Love the Way you lie” as the chorus. The Lowkeys then sang Norah Jones’ soulful song “Don’t know why,” which featured a female soloist with a gorgeous voice.

The Lowkey’s next performance was a racy version of “Whatever You Like” by T.I. A slower version featuring both female and male soloists, the rest of the group simulated dancing in a club, which evoked many hoots and cheers from the audience.

The beat boxer of the group, who was from Taipei, Taiwan, showed off his skills in a special performance. He made sounds that actually sounded as if they were coming from robots, drums beating, and records scratching. A base soloist then performed the sweet and romantic ballad “How do I get you Alone,” by Heart.

As their final song of the evening, the Harvard Lowkey’s performed Justin Timberlake’s smash hit “Cry me a river.” At the first notes of the song, the audience cheered and sang along.

The soloist on the song sounded amazing, and overall the group’s performance was entertaining and vocally enjoyable to listen to.