A cappella groups merge music and dance

A cappella groups merge music and dance

By Oliver Price, News Staff

Thunderous applause erupted from an audience that rose as Northeastern University’s (NU) a cappella group the Nor’easters finished its performance.

The Nor’easters hosted the fourth annual Best of the Northeast Regions (BONR) at NU on Monday, March 21. The show also featured the Jabberwocks, an all-male group from Brown University; the co-ed Boston University (BU) BosTones; the UniSons, an all-male group from NU; S#arp Attitude, an all-female group from University of Massachusetts Amherst; and the two-time champions of the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA), Berklee College’s Pitch Slapped.

“We like to think that BONR is different from other a cappella events because we really strive to bring the best of the best to the stage,” Carly Manfrini, Nor’easters business manager and sophomore music industry major, said.

Excited chatter turned into cheers when the Nor’easters opened the show with a calm harmony that evolved into an upbeat range of sounds. Jessie Litwin captivated the audience with her powerful solo in “Alive” as she broke away from the Nor’easters coherent formation.

“It’s such a cool experience to meet fans of the group, […] people who have come from out of town to see the Nor’easters,” Arun Venugopal, Nor’easters singer and freshman mechanical engineering major said.

The Nor’easters collaborated with Amber Lo, a sophomore marketing major, who entranced the audience with a graceful dance performance to the song “Fools.”

The Jabberwocks changed the tone of the show when they playfully leapt onto the stage in suits and ties. The group sang Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me A River” and maximized stage space as they loosely weaved in and out of formation, jokingly collapsing after the performance. The audience burst out in laughter.

“I think [a cappella shows] are a quintessential element of college,” Mary Potts, freshman environmental studies and political science dual major, said. “[They are] a festive thing that shows school spirit.”

Entering the stage to deafening cheer, the UniSons sung “Brother” by Gavin DeGraw and later announced that their debut at the ICCA semi-finals will take place at Symphony Hall. Changing pace of the show once again, Pitch Slapped mixed styles by incorporating rap into a song.

“I’m really proud of how this show went,” Venugopal said. “The audience was so engaged, encouraging and energetic. It made performing that much more enjoyable.”

The Nor’easters closed the show with a collaborative performance with NU dance team Kinematix to Justin Bieber’s “Sorry,” leaving the audience on their feet.

“We pull out all the stops for this show,” Manfrini said. “This year in particular, we went above and beyond to branch out into Northeastern’s performing arts community.”

Reflecting on the Nor’easters’ performance, Manfrini said BONR 2016 was special.

“Closing the show with ‘Sorry’ takes the cake,” she said. “Not only was that one of my favorite moments of the night, it was one of my favorite moments as a Nor’easter.”

Photo by Alex Melagrano

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