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The Greyhound

A tale of three a capella groups

By now, most people have either seen Pitch Perfect, 2012’s movie about two rival college a capella groups. It presented college a capella groups to a wide audience, but the power of a capella is not news to the Loyola community. There are three a capella groups: the Belles, a female only-group, the Chimes, a male only-group, and the co-ed group, the Greysounds. Should we be expecting rift-offs on the quad or shouts of “acca-scuse me” in Boulder or is this all fabrications of the movie?

This year’s Belles include 16 members with Lily Donatelli as president and Tori Osborne as musical director. They are known for singing a wide variety of music including several powerhouse solos and keeping a high energy level to match their high heels. The group does not wish to reveal their set list this year but anyone at the Colin Powell lecture caught a preview with their rendition of Imagine Dragon’s “It’s Time.”

The Chimes include 18 members with Jonas Nissley as president and Harrison Oztemel as musical director. While this group is bigger than usual, this allows the Chimes to add more vocal parts to songs without thinning the sound. Their set will include a range of genres and time periods because it includes “songs which people will know, and if they don’t, they will want to know them after they hear us perform,” according to Oztemel.

New to campus in January of this year, the Greysounds are quickly making a name for themselves. The 13 member group is led by president Becky Scullin. It may seem odd to create a co-ed group when two established single groups already exist, but the members wanted to grant Loyola with more opportunities to sing a capella. While not currently part of Chordbusters, the group would love for all three groups to have more opportunities to perform together.

“There is always friendly competition between singing groups, but all of that aside, all groups’ main goal is to entertain people and have fun doing it. We all have close friends from both groups, so our competition is nothing but friendly,” said Scullin. Both the Chimes and the Belles agree that there is no competition between the groups.

Is there any hope for a Pitch Perfect style rift-off? While the Greysounds never heard those rumors, the Chimes had. Oztemel agrees there “were rumblings of a riff-off, however the movie glamorizes the possibility of that happening. I have watched that scene, and from what I understand, the riff-off was kind of like a rap battle. While I would love for our group to be able to spontaneously know and perform any song that came to mind, that is (unfortunately) unrealistic. That is why we practice the songs we arrange.”

The Belles and the Chimes perform two concerts at the end of each semester known as Chordbusters. This event has always been a highlight of the semester and sells out every year. Tickets will most likely be available after Thanksgiving. This year’s show is December 6-7 in the McManus Theater. The groups typically perform at least one or two songs together. Lily Dontalli says, “We absolutely love singing with them because it brings everyone so much joy. How could we not love singing with our best friends?”

The Greysounds will be performing November 22 at 8 p.m. in the Fourth Floor Programming Room. Tickets are $5 and will be sold next week.

Try to check out these groups in their upcoming performances. Each group has a Facebook page that you can like for more information. While every group has their own style, they all have their love of performing for the Loyola community in common.

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A tale of three a capella groups