Pittsburgh colleges grace stage with a cappella

Courtesy of Duquesne Mic Drop | Duquesne’s Mic Drop enjoys their time on stage performing for, and with, other Pittsburgh college a cappella groups.

Megan Trotter | Staff Writer

Nov. 17, 2022

Duquesne’s a cappella group, Mic Drop, joined four other groups from University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University in the Union ballroom on Sunday to present “Beats on the Bluff.”

Orchestrated by Mic Drop’s Vice President, Austin Meinert, the performance featured songs arranged by Pitt’s Tonal Disruption as well as CMU’s Soundbytes, Treblemakers and The Originals.

Audience members were greeted with upbeat pop music and free popcorn as they took their seats in the ballroom.

Comprised of nine members, Mic Drop showcased the talents of students. Each group swayed, snapped, and sang to each other, putting on a show.

They opened the show singing, “Lovely” by Billie Elilish and Khalid, which featured two soloists, Amelia Lau and Maksim Shcherbatyuk.

Treblemakers got creative during their arrangement of “Record Player” by Daisy the Great, as one of the students stomped their foot to keep the beat throughout the song.

Each group’s excitement and passion was prevalent to the audience between sets. The crowd commented on the overall closeness and enjoyment that each student clearly possessed.

Mia Alecia Goins, soloist for Soundbyte’s rendition of “That’s What I Like” by Bruno Mars embodied Mars’ characteristics through her dancing during the song.

Goins jumped around the stage, acting out each lyric in its entirety. Each of her closing high notes was met with an enthusiastic “WOOH” by other singers backstage.

Joshua Malley, Vice President of the all-male group, The Originals, shared that even in taking a total of 14 members to provide a buffer zone, in case some students cannot attend, it is still difficult picking through all the talent.

“We were in that audition room for about a solid weekend,” Malley said.

David Eurillo, singer in Tonal Disruption, shared a similar problem.

“Usually, at maximum, our group allows 18 because that’s how much we’re allowed in our competition,” Eurillo said. “This year, we only took two, so sometimes our numbers vary depending on what we need.”

Acceptance into an a capella group depends on the positions available to fill.

“We have a few people graduating so we were trying to find someone like a beat boxer for coming years and a bassist,” Eurillo said. “We will switch around so one of our altos switches around to mezzo every now and then. It all depends on the situation, but our beatboxer and our base will always be our beatboxers. Those are some pretty essential roles.”

However, in Mic Drop’s case, the group ended last year with only three remaining members.

“They completely started from scratch,” said Marisa Captline, the group’s president.

“I think three people graduated last year. And then a few people left for whatever circumstance deems necessary. But I don’t really mind how many people we have.”

In between each set Captline joined Meinert on stage to entertain the crowd with puns relating to the lyrics and titles of each of the groups closing songs.

For the finale, all five a cappella groups joined together on stage, and each of their signature colors, matching shirts or uniforms meshed as they stood next to members from the other schools. Together they performed “Run To You” by Pentatonix.

“It is a non-soloist piece. So, it was a bit easier to put those pieces together. We only ran the song one time before the concert started,” Meinert said.

At the end of the night, Mic Drop was able to raise a total of $88 to contribute to their efforts in expanding their presence on campus.

“It was great to be able to have started building those connections with the other groups,” Meinert said. “So, I’m sure that next semester, next year, we’ll even be able to either have another Beats on the Bluff concert, or be able to go to another university and perform over there with them.”