By Amanda McShane
Shamrockappella was an event filled with wonderful talent and strong vocals, taking place on Saturday night in the Pryzbyla Great Rooms. Take Note A Cappella hosted the annual event that is highly anticipated by students across campus. Groups from all around the DMV area performed including American University, Georgetown, UMBC and Catholic U’s very own Redline.
Take Note’s event kicked off with free Rita’s Italian Ice and Auntie Anne’s pretzels for students to enjoy while waiting for the groups to begin the performances.
Take Note from Catholic University opened with an amazing performance of the song “Brother” by Needtobreathe, an American Christian rock band. Brendan Dillon, a junior politics major, and Kaitlin Shanahan, a junior engineering major, were the event’s entertaining co-hosts who announced the groups.
“We have been focusing on this event specifically in rehearsals since we came back from winter break in January,” said Libby Federici, the Music Director of Take Note. “All of our rehearsals since then have basically been preparation for Shamrockappella.”
Take Note was founded in 2007 and host their event, Shamrockappella, annually. Chris Abate, senior media studies major and music director of Redline, joined in his sophomore year and this is his first year as music director.
“The past few years we’ve been guests for Shamrockappella and they have been so much fun!” All the songs that the group performs are arranged by members of Redline.
Members of Take Note usually pick their repertoire using a voting system. “Typically we compile a Spotify playlist where all members of the group can add songs that they think might work well as acappella arrangements,” said Federici. “From there, we narrow down our choices based on group voting, how easily we can find or write an arrangement, and how many songs we are planning to prepare for the semester.”
The Stilettos sang “Bellyache” and “Lovely” featuring Khalid by Billie Eilish. American University, performed the songs “Imagine” and “Dangerous Woman” by Ariana Grande. Georgetown Chimes sang “60 Minute Man” which made the crowd go wild.
Redline’s songs included “Green Light,” arranged by Emma McCoy, senior media studies major, Walk The Moon’s song, “Avalanche,” arranged by Anthony Vincent, senior nursing major, a finally, “Wild Rover” which was arranged by Rose Kearns, a sophomore vocal performance major.
“[Wild Rover] is a personal favorite of mine and it’s a traditional Irish folk song,” said Kearns. “Technically, it’s Scottish but the Irish adopted it and I thought it was fitting for the event since it was a St. Patrick’s Day theme”
One of the main goals of the event was for students to watch performances from other acapella groups in the DMV area and to have a great time listening to the songs.
The atmosphere in the room was vibrant and alive, with the audience singing along to the songs with the performing groups. Undergraduate students shared what their favorite moments were. Bridget Kilkelly, a sophomore early childhood education major, said that her favorite part of the event was, “to be able to sing along to the acapella songs and everyone being supportive of the other acapella groups that came from other schools.”
“I loved it. It was so much fun! It was really cool seeing everyone in the audience singing,” said Hannah Clark, a freshman Spanish for international service major. “Then seeing other acapella groups from other parts of the DMV coming together.”
The music and performances were unbelievable and the attendance was a great turn out. Many undergraduate students from Catholic as well as alumni from Catholic’s acapella groups attended the event. After the performances, Take Note closed the show alongside their alumni with their iconic song, “Happy.” This performance was also the last Shamrockacappella for Take Note members Federici and Jake Walsh, a senior Media Studies major. They both sang solos with Take Note near the end of the show. Federici sang “In the Middle” by Dodie; Walsh sang “This Love Keeps Pulling Me Downward” in an performance that took the crowds’ hearts.
“It was certainly a bittersweet experience. Take Note has been a huge part of my college experience, and I have wonderful memories from four years of preparing for and performing at Shamrockappella. It’s one of my favorite traditions,” Federici said.
Despite it being their last Shamrockapella, it was very memorable night for the seniors.
“I have so many wonderful memories from my time in Take Note, and all of them include spending time with the other group members,” said Federici. “One great memory is competing at the ICCA’s last year. I remember all of us waiting backstage together to sing our set. We had all worked incredibly hard to prepare for the competition. At that point we were all just pumped to get on stage and perform!”
“You feel the entity of the group break out of their shell,” said Abate while discussing what she is going to miss the most about performing with Redline and sharing what they can do as a team.