The power of voice is an amazing thing.
It can be used to not only communicate and entertain, but voice can empower the oppressed, instigate social change or start a movement.
It can rally individuals together for a cause and lead people toward a common goal. Furthermore, it can dissipate stereotypes, bring confidence to the timid and transcend listeners to a place of salvation, tranquility and peace.
All of these themes and more were conveyed by the talented vocalists in Vocalosity: The Aca-Perfect Concert Experience, a traveling ensemble arranged by Deke Sharon, vocal producer for the film Pitch Perfect and NBC’s “The Sing-Off,” Friday evening.
What the audience expected upon filing into the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center was an entertaining a cappella performance, and what they got was a euphoria of talented voices woven together seamlessly with choreography, lights, energy and passion.
The two-hour performance infused comedy, tremendous acting and personality into countless renditions of songs from varying genres and time periods, all while taking the audience on different “trips” to varying social settings.
Opening for Vocalosity was this university’s own a cappella group, Faux Paz, performing energy filled renditions of Justin Beiber’s “Where Are Ü Now” and Florence and the Machine’s “Dog Days Are Over” to kickstart the night’s exciting tone.
Upon Vocalosity taking the stage, listeners found themselves a part of a night club scene, rock concert hall and theater performance with songs like Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud,” Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” and a humorous compilation of pieces from “The Sound of Music.”
The performers incorporated Gregorian chants, jazz, classic Beatles tunes, beatboxing, Motown-inspired pieces and even Top 40 hits like Wiz Khalifa’s “See you Again” and Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out of Heaven” to both entertain and engage audience members for the duration of the show.
The passion these vocalists have for their work was visibly present with each and every set. The fun, up-beat tone was reciprocated from audience members young and old, students or staff, parents or children; music lovers of all ages.
The ranges of vocals created distinct, differing tones for each and every piece: intimacy and chills were felt during the rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” and Coldplay’s “Fix you,” nostalgia and whimsicality were present during “My Girl” and the palpability of social change and revolution made an appearance during The Beatles’ “Let it Be,” “All You Need is Love” and “Come Together.”
What resonated most about the performances with me were the vocalists’ testimonies they shared leading into the conclusion of the show. They shared stories of salvation, acceptance, confidence and family with one common denominator: a love for music and singing.
With this, I will stress again the power of voice. It not only impacts the recipients, but when used correctly, it can transform, cleanse and empower those who posses it and put in their heart and soul.
Featured Photo Credit: The “Vocalosity” ensemble. Taken by Jeremy Daniel.
Jordan Stovka is a freshman journalism major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.