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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Setting the tone

    Alex Kulpinski
    Music Education Junior Ryan Phillips, of the Cat-Call A Cappella group, practices on Sunday night for the Cat-Call and Noteriety’s Collegiate A Capella Music Concert taking place this coming Saturday. Alex Kulpinski / Arizona Daily Wildcat

    CatCall and Noteriety, the UA’s featured student a cappella groups, will host Arizona’s first-ever a cappella concert Saturday.

    Held at Centennial Hall, the concert is a part of the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella quarterfinals competition, in which nine groups from the Western region will compete.
    A capella competitions began with larger schools predominantly in the Northeast, but interest has definitely grown, said CatCall founding member Ben Lebovitz. Shows such as “Glee” and “The Sing Off” have definitely drawn fans in to the genre.

    Founded four years ago with only seven members, the UA’s all-male a cappella group CatCall has now grown to 10, and the group’s repertoire encompasses songs from ‘80s pop to current music. CatCall works with high school singers via clinics and has performed throughout Arizona and with notable vocal groups such as Straight No Chaser and in a workshop with the Grammy-winning New York Voices. The coed a capella group Noteriety, founded in 2009, has seen similar growth. The two groups have worked together several times, but as Lebovitz explained, this is the first time something this big involving a capella has come to the state of Arizona.

    “This is a big thing to try to put on,” said Lebovitz, a senior studying music education and molecular biophysics. He said the concert is a good opportunity to get more people interested in this genre of music.

    Besides trying to move on to semifinals and do well at the competition, Lebovitz said he and CatCall as a whole are more excited to meet the other groups, collaborate and get inspiration from their performances.

    In addition to Noteriety and CatCall, other groups performing include Northern Arizona University’s Elevation, Arizona State University’s Priority Male and the Pitchforks, Circle of Fifths from University of California at Irvine, Fermata Nowhere from Mt. San Antonio College, Infrared from University of Utah and Pointless from Point Loma Nazarene University. Ryanhood, a Tucson duo, will perform as guests.

    Previously, Noteriety has performed Cee Lo Green’s “Fuck You!” and “King of Anything” by Sara Bareilles, and both CatCall and Noteriety incorporate vocal percussion and soloists into their performances. As a tradition, CatCall always ends its performances with its rendition of “Bear Down.”

    Adan Garcia, a political science junior and CatCall member, said his past music experience has been predominantly solo vocals with brief stints in competitions such as “American Idol.” But since joining the group last March, Garcia says he has learned a lot about tone, blending and singing in a group.

    This is the 14th season of the Varsity Vocals competition and the two winning groups will move onto the semifinals, held at the University of Southern California at the end of March. The finals will be held April 28 at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City.

    So whether you are a “Gleek” at heart or interested to see how groups such as CatCall and Noteriety have transformed your favorite songs, Saturday’s concert is sure to be an inspiring example of this rising genre.

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