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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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June 16, 2024

Groups from around Texas met at Acappellooza Saturday

A capella groups from around Texas tried to find the right pitch at Acappellooza, hosted by A&M’s own group HardChord DynaMix Saturday night.

A&M’s annual Acappellooza brings a cappella groups from all over Texas to perform a three-song set. This year, the groups that performed at Acappellooza included three of the teams that placed in the quarterfinals of the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella earlier this month, which includes HardChord DynaMix from A&M.

Sarosh Mawani, political science junior and musical co-director of group Swaram, one of the a capella groups, said Acappellooza promotes connection among a capella groups around Texas.

“Acappellooza is hosted by HardChord DynaMix, which is a co-ed group here at A&M,” Mawani said. “It’s a lot of fun because you get to see people do what you love to do as well and kind of come together and grow like an a cappella network while putting on an awesome show for everyone here at Texas A&M.”

Jake Bracher, BIMS senior and a member of the a capella groups Apotheosis and Swaram, said he expected a good turnout for Acappellooza.

“HardChord got first at ICCA Quarterfinals, which is unbelievable,” Bracher said. “And the second and third place teams are also coming. The a cappella community is growing more and more.”

Reid Akers, junior accounting major and Performance Manager HardChord DynaMix, said HardChord DynaMix started in 2007, and while this was their the second year to win in the outstanding soloist category. The group has advanced to semifinals, which are held in Los Angeles on April 3. Akers said because the southwest is newer and has a smaller amount of quarterfinals, the top three teams from the quarterfinals in the region will move on, instead of the usual top two.

This year the quarterfinals round was filmed for a Netflix show called ‘Sing it On,’ Akers said. Five different a cappella groups are followed by the show, and this year, one of the groups being featured competed with HardChord DynaMix at quarterfinals.

“We ended up beating them, so after we beat them, [the TV agents] came to our little side dressing room type thing and they made us all sign paperwork so that way we could be featured on the show and they can have a follow interview with us in California,” Akers said. “And it’s really exciting because that group that’s been on television will be at Acappellooza as well.”

Mawani said the a capella group Swaram — which mixes music from the east and west to create a unique sound — doesn’t get to perform on campus often, so he was excited to showcase what Swaram consists of at Acappellooza.

“There are so many people that have no idea what it sounds like,” Mawani said. “What the energy is like, what some of the dance moves that kind of might go with it, because hopefully we’ll be doing choreography as well, so you’ll see a little bit of eastern choreography and dance moves. And just display that culture to everyone here at A&M and show them a little bit of talent that Swaram has as well.”

Mawani said while Texas is newer to a cappella, the Texas teams have begun to develop their own talent.

“This is the first time that A&M’s team has done so well, coming in first, which is a huge deal,” Mawani said. “And so I think throughout the years of performance and practicing, all of the Texas teams have really taken a step up in a cappella, which, initially, was just really big in the Northeast and California.”

Business junior Austen McDonough, who attended Acappellozza, said his first acapella experience was an enlightening one.
“I definitely knew what acapella was but I was definitely surprised by the range of the different acts. Every single one was different in their own way. I thought it’d all be the same but they all did different types of songs, different styles and I was really impressed by the skills of the singers. It was incredible,” he said.
Akers said he had the idea to get organizations on campus involved with Acappellooza in an attempt to get the word out about the event and to try and sell out the auditorium.

“Every year we donate money to a charity; we give them the proceeds,” Akers said. “So this year, instead of choosing our own that we want to donate to, we talked to different sororities, and women’s organizations, fraternities, even just student organizations like AOLP, and they’ve agreed to participate in our competition.”
Akers said that there will be buckets along the staircase of Rudder with the names of participating organizations for attendees to put their ticket stubs in. HardChord DynaMix will donate the proceeds from Acappellooza to the philanthropy of the organization that winds up with the most tickets.
The all-female group from A&M, The Femmatas, impressed crowds, generating massive cheers.
BIMS junior Julianna Thompson said The Femmatas were her favorite act.
“Most of them were really good, especially The Femmatas, they did a really good job, because they were one of the only all female groups.” Thompson said.

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