Students lined up around the block of Lisner Auditorium Tuesday night to see a cappella groups compete in an annual “battle” sponsored by the Class Council.
The auditorium was packed with students and alumni, who came to cheer on seven different GW a cappella groups. The participants included the Troubadours, Emocapella, GW Geet, the GW Pitches, Sons of Pitch, the GW Sirens and the Vibes.
“I’m stoked and so excited that it’s in Lisner this year,” senior Lauren Empson of the GW Pitches said. “It’s a lot better than Grand Ballroom because they had to turn people away last year. This is definitely an improvement.”
The groups were allowed four songs each, one of which had to be “Rehab” by Amy Winehouse, the 2008 Grammy winner for record and song of the year. Emocapella had other plans.
“Hey Audience. Knock Knock,” one singer joked. “(Who’s there?) Crack whore. (Crack Whore who?) Amy Winehouse is a crack whore. Good night.” With that they left the stage, without even taking a stab at Winehouse’s anthem.
At intermission, the all-girl GW Pitches beamed in satisfaction for their performance. “This is my last battle,” said senior and GW Pitches’ business manager Lauren Silva. “This was the best we’ve ever done and I’m glad we ended on a good note.”
The Troubadours and the Pitches both sang Mika’s “Happy Ending.”
“I think there was more feeling and emotion in the Troubs’ rendition. But the Pitches obviously had a lot of fun singing it,” said audience member Vanessa Okoro, a junior.
A crowd pleaser was the Disney classic, “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” by Sons of Pitch. The singers onstage swayed lighters in the air while audience members swayed their cell phones. Sophomore Rob Dettore elicited the biggest reaction with his high-pitched rendition of Nala’s part in the classic song from The Lion King.
The Vibes closed out the show in style, wearing sunglasses as they sang their beat-boxing, colorful, on-pitch rap, hip-hop version of “Rehab.”
While the judges deliberated, the comedy group Recess held a beat-box competition. Senior Kawandeep Virdee of GW Geet won by measure of applause.
“I spend most of my time in Corcoran doing physics and math, so I try to keep the music thing going in different ways and this is one of them with GW Geet,” Virdee said. “The four people (in the group) who are graduating started it two years ago. I just saw our name on the flyer and I was like ‘Wow, I remember when we were so just so small,’ but now we have a presence.”
The Sirens rushed the stage as their leader, senior Jillian Thomas, accepted the award for best overall group. Thomas, a pre-med student, has been a member of the Sirens since her freshman year.
“It’s amazing that the a cappella world has expanded so much in my four years. It’s unbelievable!” Thomas said with glistening eyes. “I’m glad. I’m really happy.”
“Jillian is the most tireless, unbelievable director of Sirens ever,” said Sirens’ sophomore Danielle Heller. “She’s been doing it for two years and she just puts in more effort than all of us put together.”
With fluid choreography and the black and denim look, the GW Sirens banged out three stellar performances: “Grace,” “Travelin’ Solider,” and “Gimme More,” led by sophomore Janine Barinson.
“I actually tried out last year but didn’t make it, and then tried out again this year and made it.” Barinson said. “Oh my God, I can’t even believe it. We worked so hard, so unbelievably hard. We needed this.”