CUA Acapella Groups Perform in “Valentones Cabaret”

Acapella group The Washingtones stand together on stage.

Image Courtesy of Anthony Curioso

By Anthony Curioso

The Catholic University of America (CUA) community has been busy preparing for Valentine’s Day by having many student organizations host Valentine’s Day-themed events. One such event happened on February 9, when the Washingtones Acapella Group hosted its annual “Valentones Cabaret” in the Pryz Food Court. Sophomore computer science major Allison Ewing, the current Washingtones secretary, served as emcee for the event alongside former Washingtones treasurer and 2023 CUA alumna Katie Chmielewski.

Traditionally, the Valentones Cabaret has exclusively been a Washingtones event. This year, however, Washingtones was joined by the two other acapella groups, Redline and Take Note, for the Cabaret.

Emily Barrett, a junior musical theater major and Washingtones President,  shared what it was like planning this event.

“The other two acapella groups were very open to being included in Valentones this year, especially since all three groups are constantly inviting each other to events,”  Barrett said. “The only logistical hurdle we had with planning the event featuring the other two groups was making sure we could find a time that would best fit with everyone’s schedules, which is a common issue with clubs because people are always so busy.”

Each song that was performed was chosen for a  Valentine’s Day theme. The Washingtones’ repertoire included Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” and Paramore’s “Still Into You”; Take Note performed classic love songs: “L.O.V.E.” originally sung by Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley’s  “Can’t Help Falling In Love.”  Redline’s repertoire included a mashup of Steven Sanchez’s 2021 hit “Until I Found You” and their arrangement of “Marry You” by Bruno Mars, which they have sung at many CUA events over the years.

Washingtones group members had the chance to perform solo songs in addition to the group performances. Those who took advantage of this opportunity received glowing reviews from the audience for their performances. 

In terms of solo performances, the audience seemed most enthusiastic while reacting to freshman politics major Barbara Williams, who sang a cover of Taylor Swift’s “Cornelia Street” while playing guitar. Another crowd favorite was Alexander Crawford, a senior history and politics double-major who serves as the Washingtones vice president. Crawford played piano while performing a traditional Scottish folk song called “The Road and the Miles to Dundee,” one version of which is performed by the Corries. 

Alexander Crawford, a senior history and politics major, shared his process for choosing a solo song for the Cabaret.

“Irish and Scottish folk songs, by virtue of their nature, are fairly easy to learn, and I try to find one that will either sound good a cappella or that I can come up with a simple chord progression for,” Crawford said. 

Barrett says that Valentones is her favorite Valentine’s Day tradition to look forward to every year.

“I love the fact that this event celebrates all relationships, both romantic and platonic,” Barrett said.

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