Pillbox

A CaPittsburgh strikes a stunning chord

Members of the all-male, South Asian group Deewane play off each other. (credit: Courtesy of The Thistle) Members of the all-male, South Asian group Deewane play off each other. (credit: Courtesy of The Thistle) Adam Simpson of the Treblemakers, a first-year student in CIT, belts out a solo. (credit: Courtesy of The Thistle) Adam Simpson of the Treblemakers, a first-year student in CIT, belts out a solo. (credit: Courtesy of The Thistle)

The halls were alive with the sound of music for two hours on Saturday night, as students and their families were swept up by A CaPittsburgh.

Organized by the all-female a cappella group Counterpoint, the event is an annual charity concert that channels the musical talent of collegiate a cappella groups toward a good cause. All six of Carnegie Mellon’s on-campus groups — Soundbytes, Deewane, The Originals, Joyful Noise, Treblemakers, and Counterpoint — performed, and this year they were joined by C Flat Run, a group from the University of Pittsburgh.

The event has been a staple of the Cèilidh Weekend celebrations since 2008, according to Counterpoint president Ellen Obenshain, a senior civil engineering major. “Counterpoint always organizes the event, and this year, since I was president, it was my job. Maggie Bignell was a huge help as well,” Obenshain said. “It’s easy to have this event during the Cèilidh celebration because first of all, it’s a great event for families, and secondly, it’s easy to schedule because so much else is already happening.”

According to Maggie Bignell, junior design major and Counterpoint’s public relations chair, the event normally has a theme and one charity, but this year, three organizations benefited.

“The theme this year is ‘Music is Universal,’ ” Obenshain said. “We decided on three different charities to donate the proceeds to instead of just one.” The three charities this year were Playing For Change Foundation, Mr. Holland’s Opus Fund, and Sonic Peacemakers. These charities each emphasize music in a different way and location, according to Obenshain.
The concert was spirited and fun — the perfect event for families who were visiting and for students catcalling their friends onstage. Rangos Hall was packed for the event, with students standing along the rear and sides of the room. After a phenomenal opening of a Sara Bareilles medley performed by Counterpoint, Soundbytes took the stage to whirl through a set that exhibited an incredible amount of soul and some intense female solos. The power and lung capacity with which the Soundbytes sang — or, more aptly, belted — was beyond imagination, setting the bar high for the rest of the performers.

The second group was the all-male, South Asian group Deewane. Starting off with a remix of One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful” and then redeeming themselves in the eyes of hipsters with a remix of Coldplay’s “Fix You,” the group showcased once again its aptitude and flair for blending not only songs, but also cultures. The songs were appropriately energizing and calming, and the pitches were positively heavenly.

Following Deewane was University of Pittsburgh’s C Flat Run, whose highlight piece was “Little Lion Man” by Mumford and Sons. The piece was adapted flawlessly, and the soloist’s reedy voice suited the song perfectly.

After an intermission, The Originals took the stage to wild catcalls and cheering. Staying true to their motto of featuring anything that they can make sound good, The Originals did indeed rock their blue ties in Ellie Goulding’s “Lights.”

Joyful Noise followed The Originals with a witty intro and three songs that took the audience on a spiritual journey: Katy Perry’s “Wide Awake” expressed a sense of brokenness, while the next two evoked joy and salvation. The group possessed an incredible amount of energy and passion for its mission, which was evident to the audience.

The Treblemakers were as energetic as ever, finishing their set with fun.’s recent No. 1 song “Some Nights.” The rendition was enthusiastic and soulful, emulating the pure joy of singing to share a story with the world.

Wrapping up the wonderful evening was Counterpoint, taking the stage once again to perform its set, which rang with emotion and happiness. Each of the groups put on a performance that represented its identity as a group and appealed to the crowd.

Overall, the event was a smashing success, showcasing the creativity and raw talent of the campus not only to parents and visitors, but to the student body as well. In an environment where it’s easy to get caught up in studying and forget about the incredible talent of our peers, A CaPittsburgh was a lovely evening of refreshing reminders of the genius of our fellow Carnegie Mellon students. The fact that it was all for a good cause only added a shining, philanthropic vibe to the perfect evening.