USC’s a capella scene is diversely talented

On Monday, USC’s nine a cappella groups came together at Tommy’s Place to perform and recruit new members in a captivating concert — All Hail 2017: A Cappella Concert. The event was hosted by USC’s UnderSCore, the school’s musical theatre, community service-based a cappella group.  Groups performed one after another, each unique in their own musical way. Some, such as The Sirens, have performed at Los Angeles Clippers games, others have released their own albums and some have even entered the finals for the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella.

In front of a full crowd, the Sirens, an all-female a cappella group, kicked off the night with three relatable songs about boy troubles. The Sirens were established in 1997 and have performed all over Los Angeles with a song repertoire from old tunes to pop. The girls have notably performed at a Clippers basketball game and were featured in the Best of Collegiate A Cappella album.

Next were The Trogons, USC’s East Asian a cappella group founded in 2013. These performers focused on songs related to East Asian culture and also performed actual Mandarin songs. Whether it was their rendition of “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” from Mulan or the mashup of two of the most popular Mandarin songs in the past decade, they certainly brought something new to the night.

Asli Baat, USC’s South Asian a cappella group, serves as another example of diversity within the a capella field on campus. This group combines Western and South Asian music to create a unique balance between American Top 40 songs and Bollywood. On stage, Asli Baat started with Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” before smoothly transitioning to contemporary South Asian music, impressing the crowd in multiple languages.

Troy Tones, a prestigious coed team formed in 2002, pulled off an impressive performance, dedicating its last song to one of its co-founders who happened to be in the audience. The team released 10 tracks on Spotify in December 2015 and pride themselves on spreading their music both on and off campus. Troy Tones’ soloist’s falsetto in the second song blew the crowd away,  and their version of Sia’s “Elastic Heart” captivated the audience.

Overflow, a coed Christian a capella group founded in 2010, warmed up the audience’s hearts with inspiring ballads. The group, which usually performs uplifting ballads and Christian songs, definitely did not disappoint Monday night.

The Sirens is the only all-female a capella group on campus, and The Trojan Men is their all-male counterpart within the a capella scene. Their lively performance engaged the crowd, and the group’s good-natured humor won over the audience. After performing two songs in perfect harmony, the Trojan Men ended their performance with the hilarious “Actual Cannibal Shia Labeouf,” a comedy piece. The song caused giggles to erupt across the room and lightened the atmosphere.

The hosts of the event, UnderSCore, transitioned from making jokes about Shrek memes to performing professionally within seconds. Founded in 2013, the group prides itself on its focus on philanthropy and musical theater focus. Dazzling in an ensemble of black and red, UnderSCore delivered with two playful and dynamic arrangements of “Pop” by NSYNC and “Please Don’t Say You Love Me” by Gabrielle Aplin. For their finale, the group impressed audiences with a soulful and theatric performance of “The Room Where it Happens,” a popular track from the renowned musical Hamilton.

Perhaps the most well-known and oldest a capella group on campus, the SoCal VoCals awed the audience with flawless vocals and enthusiastic performance. The group performed for former President Barack Obama last year over winter break at the White House. From the heartfelt “Georgia” to the powerful “Feeling Good” to the upbeat rendition of USC’s alma mater, the SoCal VoCals delivered a thoroughly exciting performance that leaves no doubt to their fame.

To close off the night, Reverse Osmosis blew the crowd away with their three-song performance. This coed group, founded in 2001, has countless accolades and was even featured in a documentary titled Rock and R.O. On Monday night, soloists belted out impossibly high notes, performed with passion and earned loud cheers from the audience.       

All Hail 2017: A Capella Concert served as an event for the various a capella organizations on campus to showcase their talents. However, in order for these groups to keep thriving, they must keep recruiting new members.

From Tuesday to Thursday, there will be auditions held at different locations for each a capella organization on campus. More information can be found on each group’s website.