UW-Eau Claire’s annual a cappella Extravaganza brings musical groups together

Last Friday night, eight student a cappella groups took the stage in Schofield Auditorium

Macey VanDenMeerendonk

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Photo by Macey VanDenMeerendonk

UW-Eau Claire and local high school a cappella groups performed last Friday night in Schofield Auditorium for the Extravaganza.

Last Friday night Schofield Auditorium dimmed its stage lights and was filled with students and community members for UW-Eau Claire’s A Cappella Extravaganza. Eight groups came out on stage to perform to a full crowd.

The Innocent Men kicked off the event with their group of seven men all wearing their signature red Converse shoes. Novum Voce, a university choir, followed, along with two high school a cappella groups, Eau Claire Memorial Jazz and Osseo-Fairchild’s Danger Tones.

The Danger Tones sang “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” from the Disney movie “Mulan” with the crowd singing along.

The two high school groups brought their supporters with them. Joey Cummings, a sophomore from Oak Creek High, said he enjoyed the styles the groups presented.

“I thought it was cool to see so much variety in all the groups,” Cummings said. “It makes me excited for after high school being in a cappella.”

Impromptu, a mixed a cappella group on campus, got the crowd applauding in reaction to their cover of the “Evolution of Music” by Pentatonix. Matthew Miller, a senior bachelor of music education choral student and member in the group, said practice and rehearsals, which are five hours each week, are when the group picks songs and arranges the music until they’re ready to be performed.

“We find a song we like and we look for someone to arrange it. Normally it’s someone in the group, but sometimes we ask past members to arrange it,” Miller said. “And then we just kind of go for it.”

Other groups, such as Callisto, an all-female group with seven members, performed songs that incited applause from the crowd, like “Ain’t it Fun” by Paramore.

Fifth Element started its set with “Classic” by MKTO, and Audacious, a group of ten female members, wrapped up the show with “Pocket Full of Poetry” by Mindy Gledhill.

In support of the groups his friends are a part of, alumnus Lorenzo Ruggeri came to see the Extravaganza for the third year in a row.

“They were really good,” Ruggeri said. “I know a decent amount of people in the a cappella groups, so I like to come out and support them.”

A.J. Wielichowski, a senior from Oak Creek High School,  said she enjoyed the show and that she would come back to more shows like the A Cappella Extravaganza.

“I think this is so cool,” Wielichowski said. “This makes me so excited for college, the fact that they have all these concerts.”

Miller said Impromptu spends a lot of time getting to know one another. Even outside of rehearsal, when they have time, they get together to hang out. Bonding is inevitable he said.

“Honestly, my favorite part of being in the group is the people,” he said.

Each of the eight groups that performed last Friday received a positive reaction from the crowd, which helped the Extravaganza end on a high note.