Energy buzzed through the line queued in front of Hoff Theater as the clock neared 7:30 p.m. Sunday.

A group in purple shirts that read “Eat. Sleep. Sing.” shuffled past the line and disappeared into the theater.

Five of the university’s a cappella groups – Rak Shalom, DaCadance, Kol Sasson, Treblemakers and UMD Generics – competed in an American Idol-like competition at Terp Thon’s A Cappella Idol For The Kids, abbreviated FTK.

The judges for the event were five “Miracle Children” from the Children’s National Health Systems. The winning group was awarded a spot to perform at Terp Thon on March 7.

“We have a lot of musically talented Miracle Children who love music and Terp Thon,” said Terp Thon Recruitment Chair and senior environmental science and policy major Meredith Bower. “We love giving them this experience.”

After each performance, the Miracle Children provided commentary. At the end of the spectacle of performances, the judges deliberated and voted UMD Generics as the winners for the second year in a row.

“It means a lot,” said UMD Generics member Sean Abraham, a senior biology major. “We’re always happy to help a good cause. We love to make people happy and to see the smiles on their faces.”

Jaiwen, a returning Miracle Kid judge from last year, invited UMD Generics to sing at his high school’s FTK fundraising event last November, said UMD Generics business manager Ian Pimental.

“We are always eager to work with FTK, especially after spending time and singing with the Miracle Children last year,” Pimental said.

UMD Generics performed last, closing the evening with Maroon 5’s “Lucky Strike,” Zac Brown Band’s “Jump Right In” and Beyoncé’s “Crazy In Love.”

This was the second time Terp Thon held the event. It was much more successful this year, Bower said.

“It was another great time to increase exposure of our organization and have some fun while doing it,” Bower said. “It also gives our Miracle Children a chance to come to campus and interact with our students.”

Tickets for the event sold for $5. All of the proceeds went to the Children’s National Health System in Washington, D.C.

Hannah Hirschhorn, the president of Rak Shalom and a junior sociology major, said she immediately knew her group had to perform in the competition when she was approached with the idea.

“Part of Rak Shalom’s basic mission is to give back to the community,” Hirschhorn said. “[Terp Thon] is for such a good cause, and the goal of the event is to make the kids at the event happy. That’s part of what music is about – entertaining people and making them happy. These kids especially deserve to have a night of fun and music.”

Rak Shalom also performed at A Cappella Idol last year.

FTK winner UMD Generics will perform at Terp Thon on March 7, which will be held in the Pavillion at the Xfinity Center.

headshotMaya Pottiger is a sophomore journalism major and can be reached at


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