A small group of students, standing in a semi-circle on stage in Nancy Dye Lecture Hall, look out toward a large audience. Their performance, and that of fellow a capella groups who took the stage just before fall break, serves as inspiration for this week’s photo series.
A cappella has a long standing at Oberlin College. The Oberlin A Cappella Choir—known today as the Oberlin College Choir—was founded in 1929 by Olaf C. Christiansen, a composer and Oberlin Conservatory professor. The collaborative and community-fostering nature of group performance was a great fit for students. Through the years, many assembled their own ensembles that also took on styles all their own. For instance, Pitch Please describe themselves as “funky-fresh, multi-genre, and the sassiest, classiest bunch of individuals you’ll ever meet.” The Acapelicans refer to themselves as a “free-flying group” whose fans know them to be “spunky, energetic, fun, and musically adventurous.”
Student groups perform several concerts throughout the year, with one of the most anticipated being the fall A Cappella Study Break Concert. During this time, members of the Oberlin community are invited to take a break from the rigors of study and listen to their peers interpret a mix of musical tunes.
With many live performances hindered by the pandemic, the fall performance was a thrill for performers and spectators alike. Included in the line-up were the Acapelicans, Nothing but Treble, the Obertones, Pitch Please, and ’Round Midnight.
“We love performing at study break because it’s a time for us to share our newest and favorite arrangements with the rest of the Oberlin community as well as introduce our new members to the audience,” says Nihal Dayal Kodavarti ’23, copresident of the Obertones, whose group has been active since 1984. “It’s also a great time to connect with the other a cappella groups and strengthen the music community across campus. It’s been great getting back to in person singing and watching all of the other groups perform live again after over a year.”
This week’s tour continues with more of the fall semester’s A Cappella Study Break Concert. See additional photos on Oberlin’s Flickr page.
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