Carnegie Mellon University is one of the most prestigious schools in the country, and it houses the most quirky and fantastic, talented and straight-up glorious bunch of students I have met. If there was ever a time that this was true, it was last Saturday night at AcaPittsburgh. The students that make up the various a cappella groups on campus are energetic and absolutely in love with what they do. Many put in over four hours a week of practice with their groups, as well as their own personal practice time outside the group, all while juggling other extracurriculars and all the crazy that is Carnegie Mellon coursework.
This event was both mind blowing and beneficial to the community. Counterpoint, the first all-female a cappella group at Carnegie Mellon, worked in tandem with Sigma Alpha Iota to organize the event. All proceeds go to People to People, an organization that provides assistance and encouragement to music programs in developing countries all over the world. People to People fosters and supports the important role that music plays in creating interconnected communities, and truly supported the message of the night, that music is the universal language.
I cannot even begin to express how much every single performance blew me away. The pieces that each group performed ranged from hauntingly beautiful to soul-rocking, and included everything from Kanye West to Abba (personal favorite). Groups like Deewane incorporated their cultural background into their music by meshing Indian languages with modern pop songs, creating unique parallels between the different styles of music. Treblemakers made my heart tremble with the power of Halsey's "Control." C# Singers threw the audience into fits of giggles with their hilarious rendition of "Shia LeBeouf." Soundbytes created a charged atmosphere with "Ultralight Beam," and The Originals brought everyone nearly to tears with their heart-wrenching arrangement of "Stone Cold." At the end of the night, Counterpoint wanted to redefine what it meant to "sing like a girl" and performed Abba's "Man After Midnight" which made the girl power levels in the room skyrocket.
Altogether, the night was nearly two hours of amazing singers and vocal percussionists who, quite honestly, knocked my socks off. If you didn't get a chance to witness all of the amazing talent at AcaPittsburgh, don't worry. There are more a cappella concerts to come, and they're all fantastic.