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Acappellics Anonymous advances in ICCA competition

The Emerson students in Acappellics Anonymous rehearse and speak with student reporter Elliot Friar '16, who shot this video on his smartphone for Emerson College Today, about the singing group earning second place at the ICCA quarterfinals.

After earning second place at the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA) quarterfinals in February, Acappellics Anonymous is advancing to semifinals for a second consecutive year.

The Emerson student a cappella group will perform at Boston’s Symphony Hall on March 22, and co-music director Mary Allendorph ’16 is beyond excited.

“It’s such a famous place,” Allendorph said. “The acoustics are unreal, it’s a huge stage, it’s going to be a huge audience, and I think it’s going to be so fun.”

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Acappellics Anonymous members celebrate their recent advancement in the ICCA competition. (Photo from Acapellics Anonymous' Facebook page)

While the group members are full of excitement, they’re also full of focus to prepare for their performance. Group president Kayleigh Larin ’17 said that after learning from their first experience competing at semifinals last year, they will be even more prepared this year.

“We’re doing really narrowly focused things to zero in on how we sound as a group and to understand our group dynamic, because that’s what really helps us improve,” Larin said. “It’s a lot of nitpicking and attention to detail.”

Detail is important, especially when competing against a cappella groups from nine other colleges and universities in the semifinals, including Berklee College of Music, Harvard University, and New York University.

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The women of Acappellics Anonymous in a recent photo posted on the group's Facebook page.

While competition may be stiff, group member and former president Ariana Conte ’15 is confident in the unique energy of Acappellics.

“What Acappellics has that’s really special…is definitely because of the Emerson environment—it’s our energy,” Conte said. “People said the second we got on stage everyone kind of woke up and was wowed by our stage presence. And if you go to Emerson’s campus you can get that feeling as well.”

Acappellics Anonymous not only has unique energy that mirrors the intensity of Emerson, but also diverse song choice. Instead of performing big, popular songs like many groups, Conte said that Acappellics focuses on “songs that people haven’t heard of, maybe throwback songs…songs that are interesting and special for the competition.”

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The men of Acappellics Anonymous in a photo posted on the group's Facebook page.

Larin said the a cappella group embodies the true spirit of Emerson.

“Everybody is so involved with their shows, and their clubs, and their majors, but we all come together,” Larin said. “We have something in common that we love, and that’s music, and singing, and each other. I really feel like that’s what Emerson is, too. It’s a bunch of really, really dedicated individuals who come together for a common love, a common goal.”

Emerson is home to four student a cappella groups: Acappellics Anonymous, Noteworthy, Achoired Taste, and Treble Makers. The four groups plan to perform in a show sponsored by WERS-FM titled “All A Cappella Live” at the Cutler Majestic Theatre on Saturday, March 28, at 1:00 pm. Performance details are being finalized.