Rockapella group brings old-school music to SU for parent’s weekend
Rockapella, the a cappella group who wrote the theme song for ‘Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?’ will perform both originals and covers 2 p.m. this Sunday in Goldstein Auditorium
They may even throw in one of their catchy commercial melodies like the Folger’s Coffee theme song.
Rockapella adds to the lineup for Family Weekend 2008, which begins today and continues through Sunday.
With a résumé boasting 10 domestic and 11 international albums, as well as appearances in six television commercials, Rockapella is the leader of popular a cappella music. The internationally renowned group will bring music to SU that stretches across genres and generations.
What makes Rockapella unique is not just its members’ voices, but also their ability to captivate the audience and make them feel like they are part of the show.
‘This isn’t doo-wop,’ said Jeff Thacher, Rockapella’s mouth drummer. ‘This is an amplified show.’
Thacher enforces the importance of college a cappella groups around the country.
‘Collegiate a cappella gives everyone a chance to shine as more or less a rock star,’ Thacher said. ‘A cappella is the new sports team, it’s the new fraternity or sorority where everyone can come together to enjoy music and support each other.’
The idea to have Rockapella perform at SU came from the Division of Student Affairs’ Pulse Advisory Board, which is made up of faculty and students.
Jennifer Kirkegaard, associate director of traditions and a member of the board, said that bringing Rockapella to campus made sense for the college climate.
‘We have five active a cappella groups on campus who love to perform,’ said Kirkegaard. ‘It will be great for any students or parents that love live music.’
In addition to their performance, Rockapella will host a closed half-hour seminar with several a cappella groups on campus.
One of the groups performing will be female group The Mandarins. Amy Zubieta, one of the soprano/altos in The Mandarins, said she’s excited for the seminar so she can get a snapshot of the life of a professional a cappella group.
‘I do a number of the arrangements for The Mandarins, and Rockapella does both covers and originals,’ Zubieta said. ‘I would like to know what sort of differences they face between the two, on the side of arrangement, as well as the response they receive from originals.’
Thacher said the event will be a time to critique each of the five campus a cappella groups based on a performance.
It has been several years since Rockapella recorded in the studio.
‘Friendly world domination,’ is what Thacher said the group members have been up to in their spare time.
The group has spent the past few years performing around Asia and Europe. Its most recent recording was a live show in Japan. Thacher said that the group has focused heavily on touring since the addition of baritone John K. Brown in 2004.
‘Albums have taken a backseat to touring,’ Thacher said. ‘But we’re working on a new live project.’
Although they have been on the road for four years, all the members of the group are working on new material to constantly change and improve the show.
‘Everybody is writing new material,’ Thacher said. ‘If you haven’t see Rockapella, we have a lot of newer stuff. The show is the best is has ever been.’
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