A cappella groups face off in Marvin Center

GW’s seven a cappella groups sang for top honors Thursday night at the annual Battle of the A Cappella Groups.

The Troubadours, a co-ed group, took home the top prize of best all-around group.

Emocapella, the GW Pitches, the GW Vibes, Shiluv, the Sirens and Sons of Pitch were the other groups competing in seven categories for the third annual event, organized by the Class Council.

“I love this event,” said Tim Miller, Student Activities Center director. “It was very hard to decide who should win.”

The Class Council asked Miller to be part of a six-member judging panel, which included a math professor, GW a cappella group alumni and student a cappella performers from American University.

Each group performed three songs, ranging from Destiny’s Child’s “Survivor” by the all-female Sirens, to a song in Hebrew by GW’s newest a cappella group, Shiluv.

The Sirens’ imitation of the popular trio won them the award for best dance moves, while Shiluv was awarded best outfits for their changes from black t-shirts and neckties to sunglasses, berets and yellow bandannas for their final Israeli rap.

Emocapella, an all-male group self-described as “serenading young women with ballads of their broken hearts,” is flattered by the fan base that GW’s a cappella groups have acquired.

“We know new have a following, and it’s awesome,” said senior Jeff Stern, whose group Sons of Pitch won for most energy.

Sophomore Mary Thomasson has seen the group perform at several concerts on campus. She said she came to the battle for a second year because “I think the Sons of Pitch are really cute.”

Friends and admirers such as Thomasson nearly filled the 300-seat Marvin Center Ballroom. The event was moved to the ballroom after breaking fire codes the first year in Columbian Square, said freshman class representative Tyler Brown.

But some thought that the venue provided poor acoustics for the a-capella performers.

“I don’t think this is the best room for this event,” said freshman Tim Guillot, who sings and plays drums in his own band. Two of his band members are in the all-male Vibes, which won for both best original arrangement and best vocal percussion.

Think Tank Revolution, a student group that performs original pieces of creative writing, hosted the battle for the first time. They incorporated the names of each a cappella group into their introduction, carrying the theme, “The voices were heard on the night of the battle.”

While the judges deliberated, the members of Think Tank came on stage to entertain the audience.

After the show, Think Tank sold T-shirts sporting their logo. Emocapella, the Troubadours and the Vibes sold their self-produced CDs. Sponsorships helped pay for the top prize – a dinner out for the entire group – and smaller gift certificates for the winners in the other six categories.

Senior Evan Shyer, who sang with two of the a cappella groups, was awarded best solo for his performance of U2’s “With or Without You.” A Sons of Pitch soloist later spoofed him when he altered a Fountains of Wayne lyric to sing, “Shyer’s mom has got it going on.”

“It’s really neat,” Shyer said of the evebt. “For awhile you get to feel like a rock star.”

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