Image courtesy of Regina Vahey
By Regina Vahey and Noelia Veras
Spookappella, an invitational hosted by Redline A Cappella, took place on October 25 in the Pryzbyla Center Great Rooms. Redline is one of three a cappella groups on the Catholic University campus. The group hosted their annual Spookappella event and invited the other two Catholic U groups, along with several groups from other universities, to perform.
Before the event began, a long line of eager spectators formed on the upper floor of the Pryzbyla Center, many of them were students but faculty members and parents were also in attendance. Prior to the doors opening, Connor Gerrity, the business president of Redline, announced that there were donuts and refreshments available for the audience to grab before the performances commenced. The night went relatively smoothly, other than the technical difficulties that occurred with the microphones and sound systems. Although these problems were present, the sound design did vastly improve throughout the night.
Spookappella was emceed by the dynamic duo of sophomore media and communications major, Ethan Stickler, and junior computer science major, Sarah Beretich. This pair, having such an integral role in the show, was ironic because they were rejected by all three of Catholic University’s a cappella groups this year. This point was a popular talking point throughout their set, as they showed their rejection emails from each group. Stickler and Beretich even played their audition tapes for the audience which was bemused by the pair’s rendition of “Rewrite the Stars” from the film, The Greatest Showman. The rest of the set was littered with tongue-in-cheek jokes and boldly taboo exclamations.
“I was nervous, but once I got on stage, the nerves disappeared, and I just went for it,” Stickler said. “I hoped I was funny. We spent a lot of time writing and rewriting the jokes. Connor invited me to host since he knew Sarah and I were funny.”
Redline opened the show in Harry Potter-themed attire and sang “Avalanche” by Walk the Moon. The night continued with American University’s Dime a Dozen. Dressed in 70s-inspired outfits, the co-ed a cappella group closed out its performance with the classic Halloween fan-favorite, “Monster Mash.” Next to the stage was DaCadence from the University of Maryland which sang pieces from the set it performed at an International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella tournament. The group’s harrowing performance was emphasized by the story portrayed through the costumes as some of the members were police officers while the majority were prisoners.
The University of Maryland, Baltimore County’s premier male a cappella group, Mama’s Boys, graced the stage and delivered a passionate version of The Neighbourhood’s “Sweater Weather.”
As for Take Note, the group performed “Dirty Paws” by Of Monsters and Men and then later performed “Amnesia” by 5 Seconds of Summer. The group was dressed up as 101 Dalmatians while one member, David Rowcotsky, was dressed as Cruella Deville.
“I’m really looking forward to learning a lot more modern songs than we have done in the past and I’m excited to participate in ICCA in the spring,” said sophomore Emily Curran, a member of Take Note. I’m also excited to get to know the new members of the group throughout this year.”
The Washingtones, Catholic’s newest a cappella group, had a particularly big night since this was only its second time performing. The group was dressed to the theme of Charlie Brown and sang “All Time Low” by Jon Bellion and “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons. Notably, the group was the only one to invite the audience to sing along.
“The turnout was overwhelming, I don’t think there was an empty seat,” said sophomore Sophie Kennedy, a member of the Washingtones. “It was great to see that kind of support. It was so fun to see other schools perform and observe the varying techniques they used to create great performances.”
Redline’s last performance wrapped up the night nicely as the group sang “Rise” by Katy Perry in the form of a trio. The harmonization among the trio layered by the harmonization of the group behind them was unique and very impressive. When they finished there was enthusiastic applause. The performance was certainly a fan favorite.
“Rise is one of our favorite songs to perform—it’s kind of the most epic song in our repertoire,” said Gerrity. “We based the arrangement on a version by the group Superfruit, which highlights a bunch of different soloists on the song. That song gets us moving and has the umph that every good finale needs.”
Overall, the night was extremely lively and full of very impressive performances and hilarious commentary. Students audibly guffawed at several of the comments made by the hosts and a cappella groups themselves. The large audience was very clearly invested in the performances and the night as a whole. From exuberant applause to tears, to laughter, the night was packed full of many surprises.