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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

If you can sing…

By Margaret Allen

With four different a cappella groups on campus, drawing distinctions between the ensembles can sometimes be difficult. Although the groups all sing in the traditional a cappella style—that is, without musical accompaniment—each has its own stylistic differences that set it apart from the rest.

The most established of the a cappella groups, Con Brio, has existed on campus since the early nineties. The group has developed a reputation on campus for excellence, extending beyond the quality of their voice to the music that they perform. Con Brio exclusively performs a cappella music that is arranged by group members.

Although arranging music can be time consuming, many members of Con Brio view the group as a musical release. “It’s a great outlet for students who don’t have time for Grinnell Singers, but still want to participate in a group that has reputation for high level musicianship,” Mona Ghadiri ’10 said. In addition to performing throughout the year, Con Brio releases an album annually.

The smallest of the a cappella groups, A Cappellicopters, contains eight members and was created by Rose Kory ’10 in the Spring of 2009. “I started the A Cappellicopters because there were more people who love to sing on this campus than there were spots available in the established groups,” Kory said. “A Cappellicopters is for everyone who loves to make music.”

Although five of the eight members are graduating seniors, Kory hopes that a small group with a similar purpose will take up the reigns should the group dissolve. “I’d love for a group with a similar mission to take its place, even if their name isn’t half as good,” Kory said.
Noteworthy is another a cappella group created during the spring semester of 2009. Although the group is larger than A Cappellicopters, Noteworthy also welcomes singers with any level of musical interest and skill. “We pride ourselves on being an approachable group,” Anne Ross ’12 said. The group’s open-minded attitude towards what defines musical skill extends to its attitude about performances as well. Most recently, the group preformed at Doug Cutchins’ house for his daughters’ Valentine’s Day party.

G Tones, the all-male a cappella group, is another ensemble with a reputation for unorthodox performances. “I wouldn’t say that we don’t take the group seriously, but we definitely approach the music in a less formal way,” Ethan Kenvarg ’12 said. “We don’t take ourselves too seriously.”

G Tones practices on a regular basis and continues to find ways to keep their music new and exciting with impromptu performances and through the release of their first album later this spring.
While none of the groups have performances scheduled for the immediate future, they all encourage student attendance for their shows later this spring once dates and locations are determined.

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