Four acclaimed a cappella groups from around the world are performing at Rudder Auditorium. The musical groups represent eight different countries in a diverse performance of varying styles.
Blake Lewis, Women of the World, The Filharmonic and Committed will take the stage in the touring performance “A Cappella Live” at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 13.
The upcoming singers showcase was arranged by experienced singer, composer and “Father of Contemporary A Cappella” Deke Sharon, who has had a hand in television, film and live productions for years, according to his website.
“Columbia Artists simply said ‘We’d like an a cappella tour, what would you like to do?’” Sharon said. “And my first thought is that there are many great yet unsung—sorry, pun intended—a cappella groups who deserve a much wider audience. So, if I set up a great show based around a few of them, like a Motown Review, audiences could come, feast on vocal harmonies and walk away with some new favorite groups.”
By incorporating the different musical styles of these groups, Sharon said this compilation contains a variety of genres within contemporary a cappella for listeners to experience.
“They are all undeniably talented and wonderful, but they’re also so different,” Sharon said. “From the rich gospel roots of Committed to Women of the World’s global influences, Blake Lewis’s twenty-first century electronica and The Filharmonic’s boy-band playfulness. There’s not only something for everyone, people will walk away appreciating a style of music they didn’t previously care for, because when you hear it through the human voice the heart of the music shines through and becomes undeniably compelling.”
While on the tour, Filharmonic singer Jules Cruz said he has enjoyed collaborating with his fellow a capella groups and hopes the students at A&M can feel the bonds they have formed between genres.
“What you’ll find is that music and lots of art forms will bring everyone together,” Cruz said. “I think the main lesson of the show is that everyone has something to offer, and that we all have more in common than we think. We’ve all been learning about ourselves during all the production of this show and we are excited to take this show on the road and hope everyone sees that.”
Women of the World vocalist Debo Ray said she has admired the other performers for years. Ray said the tour’s collaborative effort between each group taught the performers how to engage audiences and expand their range of styles.
“I remember seeing Committed and the Filharmonic when they were on the Sing Off back in the day, and we’ve seen Blake Lewis from American Idol and so it’s a dream come true that we’re playing with people we used to see on T.V.,” Ray said. “We’ve prepared a couple of tunes for you all that incorporate all of the groups and we’re trying to make everyone feel like they’re all part of a big family. Just get ready to be blown away.”
No matter who people are or where they are from, music of all forms can bring people together and this show exemplifies that truth, Sharon said.
“There’s something powerful when you’re singing in harmony with others – a connection that transcends traditional communication – and that feeling expands into relationships, which is why a cappella singers are so friendly and easy to get along with,” Sharon said. “As a listener I love the deep humanity, the emotion that lies behind not only the lead vocal but every sound you hear.”