Vocal Suspects

The Vocal Suspects is the oldest (and funkiest) mixed a cappella group at UMass Amherst. Founded in 1999, The Vocal Suspects have always had a reputation of blending contagious energy with adept musicality. Their arrangements are innovative and electrifying, and over the past two decades, they have continuously reshaped their sound to incorporate the new talent that is brought in each year.

Rachael sat down with the group to talk about their latest studio album, Spectrum! To listen to the album in its entirety, check it out on Spotify at https://open.spotify.com/album/7o0iiH3STLd86aMSN1FL1J or Apple Music at https://music.apple.com/us/album/spectrum/1513645858.

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Parkside Range

Parkside Range is the flagship contemporary a cappella ensemble of the Contemporary Commercial Music – Voice program at UW-Parkside. Rachael sat down with the group in the summer of 2019 at A Cappella University.

Learn more about Parkside Range here: https://www.facebook.com/ParksideRange.

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Swaram A Cappella

Swaram is Texas A&M University’s premier South Asian Fusion A Cappella team. Since its inception in 2007, the team has been renowned not only for competing at national collegiate a cappella competitions but also for numerous national accolades. Swaram fuses both Indian & Western musical styles through pure vocal performances to create innovative and vibrant music. Recognized for its avant-garde twist on South Asian fusion, Swaram enjoys bringing powerful stories to its music through representation of socially and politically prevalent concepts through its themes. Swaram has had the honor of placing at the All-American Awaaz National Championship for three years in a row and has released multiple albums and singles on Spotify and iTunes. Recently, Swaram’s latest single “Crazy in Love” was nominated for a Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award (CARA) for Best Mixed Collegiate Arrangement. Music is a beautiful language, and we hope our stories and music speak to you in a profound way!

Learn more about Swaram here: https://www.facebook.com/SwaramAcappella.

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Dhamakapella

Dhamakapella is an award-winning coed South Asian fusion a cappella group based in Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio.
Dhamakapella was formed in 2005 by student Mayank Prasad at Case Western Reserve University. With help from students, Raksha Soora and Manoj Nair, Mayank organized and established the first university-recognized coed a cappella group, which would feature genres from both Western and Eastern cultures. Within three years, Dhamakapella grew into an sixteen-member group, with singers of various and diverse styles. Due to the untraditional arrangements and unusual compositions, the group instantly stood out on University campus and downtown Cleveland. In 2011, Dhamakapella released its debut album Pehli Nazar: First Look, following the group’s growing popularity across the city and the University. The group derives its influences from Indian classical, contemporary Bollywood, pop, and electronic genres.

Learn more about Dhamakapella here: https://www.facebook.com/dhamakapella.

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Hum A Cappella

Hum A Cappella was founded in 2001 and is the South Asian a cappella group at the University of Texas at Austin. Hum blends cultures and puts a unique spin on both Hindi and English songs. From its six-member inception, Hum has evolved into a group of highly dynamic vocalists who arrange all of their songs by themselves. They have competed at a variety of local and national competitions including ICCA, Jhalak, Taal, Nasha, Texas Revue, Gathe Raho in Iowa, and Anahat in California. The team comes from a variety of musical backgrounds, and their collaboration and appreciation for a cappella music keeps them constantly moving forward.

Learn more about Hum A Cappella here: https://www.utxhum.com.

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Dhunki A Cappella

In Hindi, ‘Dhunki’ means ‘spellbound.’ The name also contains the Hindi word ‘Dhun,’ which means ‘tune’ or ‘melody.’ This Hindi name symbolizes this group’s focus on the areas of South Asian music and culture. The group’s goal is to spread their culture throughout the community by the means of a unique style of music in which Eastern and Western themes collide in intricately arranged mashups.

Learn more about Dhunki here: https://dhunkimusic.weebly.com.

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SoundWave

SoundWave is SDSU’s first and only co-ed a cappella group. SoundWave’s goal is to splash the audience with a powerful wave of sound, leaving them wet and wanting more. Their musical repertoire consists of the best guilty pleasures of the past and present, with diverse musical genres. Get ready for a wild ride full of amazing music and exciting choreography.

We sat down with the group after their ICCA competition was canceled due to the coronavirus and we spoke with the group at length about their set and its meaning. We are including that set in its entirety for your listening pleasure! And if you want to view it, you can do so here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4A-84s9rZg.

Learn more about SoundWave here: https://www.facebook.com/SoundWaveSDSU.

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The Smiffenpoofs

The Smiffenpoofs originated in 1936 after a group of Smithies attended a Yale picnic where the Whiffenpoofs performed. The Smithies were so impressed by the Whiffs’ camaraderie and musicality that they decided to form the first women’s collegiate a cappella group in the nation, modeling it after the Whiffs and adopting a similar name in their honor. As the story goes, it was on November 23, 1936, that Smith College President William Allan Neilson gave his official approval of the group, gifting them with a leather-bound journal in which to record their history.

We were honored to sit down with the Poofs at the end of February to see what this amazing group of women are up to these days.

If you want to learn more about the group, you can do so here: http://www.thesmiffenpoofs.com.

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MIT Logarhythms

In the spring of 1949 a group of MIT students came together to form the Logarhythms, MIT’s premier all male a cappella group. Building upon the influence of barbershop tunes they swiftly began singing all over campus, building a fan base throughout Cambridge. Over the next few decades the ‘Logs’ introduced gospel, doo-wop, and modern hits, performing at several MIT events including Commencement. While balancing their academic workload, athletics, and keeping fans at bay, the Logs managed to record several albums, which last to this day.

In the late 1990’s the Logs made the transition from barbershop to modern a cappella introducing vocal percussion and complex arrangements of modern songs. The Logs performed off campus more often and toured around the country to California, Texas, Ohio, New York, Florida, and all of New England. Last year the Logs celebrated their 60th anniversary as one of the country’s finest a cappella groups. Their tremendous success is attributed to its alumni who have shaped this group into what it is today.

Learn more about the Logs here: https://mitlogs.com.

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The Techtonics

While in London for the ICCA Quarterfinals, Rachael was delighted to sit down with 2016 ICCA Champions and 2020 Semifinalists (at least at the time of publication), The Techtonics, from Imperial College London. These are a fun group of guys who take their music and the passion for a good time seriously!

Learn more about The Techtonics here: http://www.thetechtonics.co.uk.

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