A cappella brings together different voices for a broader audience

Kayla Steinberg | Contributing Writer

The Voices & Sounds of Washington University: A Cappella Concert was packed with people anxious to see Wash. U.’s most talented vocalists perform pitch perfectly. The lineup consisted of 11 a cappella groups: After Dark, The Amateurs, Aristocats, Ghost Lights, Greenleafs, Mosaic Whispers, More Fools Than Wise, The Pikers, Sensasians, Staam and Stereotypes. Each group offered something a little bit different to the night and probably appealed to all the different types of family members along the way.

Senior Katie Greenberg of the Mosaic Whispers sings a solo Friday night at The Voices & Sounds of Washington University concert. Greenberg performed a song by electropop artist Sia.Kayla Steinberg | Student Life

Senior Katie Greenberg of the Mosaic Whispers sings a solo Friday night at The Voices & Sounds of Washington University concert. Greenberg performed a song by electropop artist Sia.

After Dark:

For the dad who wants to get a little groove on.

Dressed in all black, they brought their smiles and had great bass, truly covering all of the vocal ranges really nicely. With a vibe that matched the upbeat and cool music they sang, everyone was left in a good mood. And were they pitch perfect? Absolutely! Definitely a great group to listen to “after dark.”


For the aunt who loves female empowerment. And probably Hillary Clinton, too.

This all-girl group (of expert cookie cake eaters, according to one MC) “stole the show” with powerful vocals in their first song. Classy and sassy in their all-black outfits, they then conveyed a vaguely eerie vibe in their second song effortlessly.

More Fools Than Wise:

For the grandfather who’s still into Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

This eight-person “premier folk, chamber and jazz a cappella group” was small but mighty. But what was most beautiful about their sound was that it truly sounded like they were creating art. Classic, pure, beautiful art. Their lullaby-like first song was incredibly graceful, and the four guys who remained for the second song killed it with their amazing vocals.

The Stereotypes:

For the slightly younger brother who acts like he’s fratty but who is really just a big nerd at heart.

A serious bromance was evident at first sight. These guys, who came running on in multicolored ties and a whole lot of energy, dazzled in their amazing arrangements. The first song showcased the lighter and more powerful elements of their voices and featured sophomore Max Block beatboxing along with many other incredible singers, the whole group relishing the moment. The immediate reaction of one girl as their second song began— “What the hell?!?”—summarizes the hilarious composition nicely. The mashup of Ke$ha’s “Blow” and “TiK ToK” consisted of a full-on jam session, with fantastic dance moves and ad libbing, such as “kick ’em to the curb unless they’re Chancellor Wrighton.” 10/10 for vocals and comedy.

The Pikers:

For the uncle who nobody really knows why he tagged along, but he’s here anyway and that’s just great.

Immediately bringing a more casual, yet still super energetic vibe, the all-male, plaid-and-jeans clad ensemble had more chemistry than a frat. The “stars [definitely] aligned” for the group, who opened with a harmonious rendition of Lana del Rey’s “Lucky Ones.” Opening the second song, “Flashdance… What a Feeling,” with a spoken-word, all-too-real line “This song is about $64,000 student loans,” soloist and junior Michael Hyun threw in rocker screams and a whole lot of hair flipping as the group members hysterically acted out their distress. These guys got down, too—literally. Hyun kneeled for dramatic effect, while others got down for push-ups and squats. Finishing with running off into the wings, this group left it all on the stage.

Ghost Lights:

For the mom who just likes a little Broadway to jazz up the day.

With a name perfect for Halloween weekend, the coed group astounded the audience with “a capinstrumental” first song. No soloists were needed, and the group worked together in perfect harmony (music jokes, ha). For the second song, although some members left, the remaining members and two soloists wowed with the Black Eyed Peas’ “The Time (Dirty Bit).” The group brought awesome positivity and energy, truly having the time of their lives, and even threw in some Broadway-esque dance moves at the end!

Mosaic Whispers:

For anybody with ears ‘cause these folks sing any and every style of music. Come one, come all.

As the oldest coed Wash. U. a cappella group and one who tours and competes internationally, Mosaic Whispers was expected to be top notch. Luckily, the group didn’t disappoint. With dramatic movements and powerful voices, their “elastic hearts” showed in the artistry of their first piece. Featuring soloist senior Katie Greenberg, the Whispers brought a Sia hit to life, complete with heart beat noises from the beatboxer, senior Rohan Khazanchi. With their second song, they brought the fire, especially with a sassy soloist, senior Hannah Lacava, and two fierce rappers, senior Crystal Young and freshman Harkirat Anand. It was hard to keep from dancing along!


For the mother who just wants her daughter to date “a nice Jewish boy”

This group, which performs anything written or performed by a Jewish person, “mix(es) our Jewishness with our modernity… [to] have a lot of fun,” according to sophomore superstar singer Lucy Greenbaum. Staying classy (and notably very Jewish) in cobalt and black, the group opened with Hashkiveinu, a Jewish song traditionally sung before bed, followed by a pop medley including Troye Sivan’s “YOUTH” and the Chainsmokers’ “Closer.” The coed group sang incredibly in every range, high and low, with amazing runs and chemistry as they jammed out to everything Jewish.


For the cousin who just likes to sit back and enjoy the magic.

Aptly named for the members’ interest in Asian music, often combined with an English top 40 song, the group opened with a brightly sung pop song. Rocking the lavender and black, they’ve “been to the year 3000” with their incredible vocals. Opening their second song, Adele’s “All I Ask,” with artistically arranged soloists, these students were truly sensasianal, nailing a difficult key change and moving the audience with their beautiful second piece.


For the sister who’s OBSESSED with all things Disney.

This group doesn’t just dabble in Disney: It full-on immerses itself in the wonders of Walt to create Disney magic for all who behold it. The performers certainly made the audience’s “wishes come true,” with their voices blending together for “When You Wish Upon a Star.” They next threw a hint of High School Musical into their “Drag Me Down” performance with Zac Efron’s “Scream.” Complete with beatboxing, this mash-up stole the hearts of the audience and made everyone want to “scream” with glee.


For the mom who just wants a quiet, unassuming drive to pick up her kids.

In a bold red and black, the Amateurs began with a classic slow jam, “Origin of Love,” and the incredible layers of voices made the piece a real treat. As senior Jesse Bogdan, the group’s concert coordinator said, “We always strive to bring energy to the house because we’re performers…Tight harmonies, energy, just a really full, powerful sound.” This nationally recognized group didn’t disappoint, and their second song, “If I Go,” was just as beautiful as their first. These singers proved that they’re no amateurs; they jelled perfectly and wowed the audience, closing the show on a high note.

The concert was a really interesting blend of Wash. U.’s a capella scene, definitely worthwhile for students, parents and the performers! As Ashley Barrett, who works for Hillel, commented, there was “so much diversity in the a cappella groups.” Soccer moms, crazy uncles and anyone with ears could unite in the melodious joy that was the Voices & Sounds concert.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to clarify the names of the The Pikers, Sensasians and Mosaic Whispers, as well as the founding year and signature song of The Pikers and membership of Sensasians.

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