Fall has arrived, which means that the annual Acatoberfest is here. On Saturday night, multiple Hopkins a cappella groups gave a lively and stunning performance at the Bloomberg auditorium. Although it takes place every year, the support towards the a cappella groups and popularity of these special a cappella performances never fade away; the entire auditorium was packed.
The program started off strong with the only all-female group on campus since 1994, the Sirens, belting out “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire and “Gravity” by Sara Bareilles, which was quickly followed by passionate cheering and clapping. Thanks to these ladies, the atmosphere and standards for the rest of the show were set bright and high.
The fresh fall breeze means fresh faces. The all-boys guest group called Sons of Pitch traveled all the way from George Washington University to participate in Acatoberfest. This group has performed live at a Washington Nationals game and has also been featured on live TV while singing at the National Cherry Blossom Festival. The audience seemed exhilarated to have such a talented and well-rounded group partake in this cozy fall event.
Following these performances were Mental Notes and Octopodes. The Mental Notes, buzzing with energy and exuberance as usual, sang songs in which they created their own (and not to mention very humorous) lyrics that got the crowd erupting in laughter.
The lyrics included jokes about procrastination, failing a class, the woes of computer science and funny meme references. They’ve successfully combined their musical talents, creativity and wits to produce a unified sound while interacting with the audience and touching nearly every person present. It was definitely a mood lifter.
On the other hand, the Octopodes gave quite the professional yet theatrical performance, singing “I Wish” and “Find You.” The Octopodes is one of the most well-acclaimed and top-tier groups on campus and is even often referred to as the best (arguably so, of course). Sophomore Ernesto Lippert Lozano sang a dramatic and extremely well-executed solo in “I Wish” that literally got the crowd riled up; congrats, Ernesto! Another sophomore in the group, Sophia Cinquemani, voiced how pleased she was with the way the night went.
“I really enjoyed performing with the Octopodes, especially because it was my first time ever performing with a college a cappella group,” Cinquemani said. “The energy between our group and the audience felt amazing; the environment was just very receptive. It was also really amazing to be able to jam out with my friends on stage while bonding with the other a cappella groups there.”
Well, enough of Octopodes. You’re probably super excited to hear about the last couple of hot groups that ended the night. Although many could arguably say that they wouldn’t be able to stay up all night, the AllNighters would be capable of making people want to stay up. Being the all-male group on campus, they all ran onto center stage in their bowties and vests, causing many to sit up straight in their seats. They sang “The Night We Met” by Lord Huron and “Burnin’ Up” by the Jonas Brothers; the song choices alone drew quite the reaction from this thick crowd.
Sophomore Mitchell Schroeder, a star athlete in the group, started off with a soft and gorgeous solo in “The Night We Met,” and serenaded the audience (not to mention the outfit that topped it all off).
Back to that fresh fall breeze. Second to last on the program was the Greysounds, another guest group. The Greysounds is the only co-ed group at Loyola University. Because it was established in late 2013, the Greysounds is considered a “new” or “young” group.
However, this didn’t stop them from becoming known. Although Acatoberfest was their first gig, the Greysounds still managed to make quite the impression. Hopkins was very supportive of their performance and especially towards Anna Radziul, the first soloist.
Last but definitely not least came the Vocal Chords. Running out in their signature maroon attire, they ended the program marvelously. They sang “G Train” and “Touch.” This group, one of the larger yet interconnected a cappella groups, also consists of a few notable Peabody students who would travel to and from Homewood campus in order to commit to the vigorous rehearsals. One of them is sophomore Philip Barsky, who is also the assistant music director.
Barsky, also the soloist for “G Train,” explained his love for a cappella and performing.
“We’re told that we sound really good, and honestly, we work hard enough that we should,” he said. “We’re a really well-knit group and try to hang out as much as we can outside of rehearsals as well. We’re all pretty committed and sacrifice a lot of time and energy into our work; I love my Vocal Chord family. I wouldn’t change a thing.”
Congratulations to every singer, coordinator and group that helped put this year’s Acatoberfest together so beautifully. Until the next one!