Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Singing Their Hearts Out for a Good Cause

On November 6, 2009 the University of Virginia presented an all acapella benefit concert called Rigabamboo. The money towards the concert went to Camp Kesem, which is a student run organization that provides a free week of summer camp to children whose parents have cancer. The purpose of the camp, is not to be used as a therapeutic session to tackle issues at home, but rather it is a time for the children to forget about at worries, have fun and just be a kid. Camp Kesem also provides support for these families at other times throughout the year as well. Besides the cause, what made this concert a great one was that it was an all acapella concert. According to the Fine Arts Dictionary, Acapella is defined a choral singing that is performed with no instruments. It means “in chapel style” in Italian because long ago, religious music that was made to be sung in chapels used their voices only and unlike large churches, the chapels did not have organs to coincide with the singing.

The concert provided a great variety as it featured four acapella groups out of the University, each offering its own different style and flair. First up were The New Dominions, who gave listeners a good sense of harmony and had much emphasis on the beat boxing. They played fresh feet-tapping hits like Adele’s “Right As Rain” and played around with polyphonic layers, which is having several melodic parts simultaneously (opposed to a homophonic harmony).
Remix offered a different taste by performing as a hip hop acapella group. They were very diverse in their group make up, in terms of race and gender. They used two people to emphasize on the beat boxing in the musical undertone and sung songs from Musiq Soulchild, Mary J. Blige, and Keri Hilson. They rapped parts from City High and Kanye West which correlates to the basic use and roots of rap music. Rap and hip hop evolved in an area where there were not enough finances to pay for advanced musical programs in schools of areas in New York. From this, its music lovers had to develop transformative ways to make accompanying instrument sounds to complement their rap sessions, just as the rapping and beat boxing here may have reminded some listeners.

Furthermore Rigabamboo had performances by AVP (The Academical Village People) and Hoos in Treble. These two groups are unique in terms of gender because they were either all male or all female, respectively. AVP, the all male group really connected with the male gender persona. They were hyperactive, funny, doing slides on the floor and crooning the ladies by holding their hands in the audience. While Hoos in Treble, the all female group were collective and ladylike, keeping their composure and singing songs about love and female empowerment- like Miranda Lambert’s, “Gunpowder and Lead”. Overall this concert was an entertaining experience, gave listeners a variety of music and the pure talent that U.Va has to offer, all being combined with the unselfish and humble task of helping out others for a better cause.

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