Nor’easters host concert with local a cappella groups

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Nor’easters host concert with local a cappella groups

The Nor'easters performed in Behrakis Sunday. / Photo courtesy Lauren Scornavacca

The Nor'easters performed in Behrakis Sunday. / Photo courtesy Lauren Scornavacca

The Nor'easters performed in Behrakis Sunday. / Photo courtesy Lauren Scornavacca

The Nor'easters performed in Behrakis Sunday. / Photo courtesy Lauren Scornavacca

Samuel Kim

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A cappella singers were bathed in soft sunlight as they performed in the lobby of the Behrakis Health Science Center Sunday afternoon. The singers stood on the steps in the lobby and performed to a crowd of more than 100 without any microphones or special lighting effects, lending to the theme “Behrakis Unplugged.”  

The performers included Northeastern’s The Nor’easters, Berklee College of Music’s Upper Structure and New York University’s The N’Harmonics.

“We love to have shows in Behrakis because of the great acoustics here,” said Anthony Rodriguez, a fourth-year psychology major and tenor in The Nor’easters. “We don’t use any microphones or lights, so the audience ends up hearing the individual voices of the singers a bit better. We as the performers can also see the audience members’ faces and connect with them. It’s an intimate setting that we always enjoy performing in.”

The Nor’easters, who were the 2017 ICCA champions, received a raucous welcome from the audience as they began their first song, “Don’t Stop ‘Till You Get Enough,” by Michael Jackson. Other songs included “New Rules” by Dua Lipa, “715 – CR∑∑KS” by Bon Iver and “Writing’s on the Wall” by Sam Smith. The singers demonstrated impressive vocal ranges as they performed with passion and spirit. Soloists included Rodriguez in “Writing’s on the Wall,” a performance he won the Outstanding Soloist award at the ICCA finals.

Tyler Beresford, a tenor singer and the brand manager for The Nor’easters, said he and the rest of the group were happy to invite the other performers to the event.

“It’s always so much fun performing and collaborating with other very talented groups,” said Beresford, a third-year music industry major.

Many singers from other a cappella groups on campus were in the audience, including Skyler Heise, president of the all-male group The Unisons.

“We love the Nor’easters and Upper Structure and sing with them as much as we can,” said Heise, a second-year computer science and business administration combined major. “It’s also great to see these top-tier groups like the N’Harmonics come all the way from New York.”

Upper Structure, the winner of the 2018 ICCA Northeast Semifinal, performed both soulful and energetic songs including “I Miss You” by Adele and “Freedom” by Beyoncé.

Upper Structure president and soprano singer Kayla Liquori described the event as a great learning experience.

“The other groups all delivered their unique vibes and talents, so it was wonderful to hear them sing,” Liquori said. “I also loved how we all felt like friends. We have competed against each other in competition, so sharing our music in this friendly context was a great experience where we learned more about each other.”

Liquori also said that she and the rest of Upper Structure are looking forward to performing again with The Nor’easters at their concert “The Best of the Northeast Region,” which will be on April 24 at 8 p.m. in Blackman Auditorium. Information for tickets and pricing will be available in the upcoming weeks.

Faith Joy Dantowitz, whose son is in Upper Structure, said she enjoyed the theme of “Behrakis Unplugged.” Dantowitz said she was already in Boston for a visit, but would have traveled from her home in New Jersey for the performance.

“It was so wonderful and fun hearing these three phenomenal groups live without any microphones,” Dantowitz said. “The indoor acoustics were great, and this was a truly unique experience.”

The NYU N’Harmonics joined the two groups from Huntington Avenue with songs from various genres of music, including “Without Me” by Fantasia and “Roundabout” by Yes. Whether it was the rap-like “Top of the World” or the R&B and soul motifs in “Green Garden,” the singers delivered and kept the audience cheering.

Erin McMillen, the business manager for the N’Harmonics and a soprano singer, performed a solo during “Roundabout” by Yes. McMillen said she appreciated the convivial atmosphere of the event.

“I enjoyed getting to perform with the other groups in a non-competition setting,” McMillen said. “We all supported each other as loudly as we could, and we as the N’Harmonics are grateful to have been invited to Boston. We can’t wait to come here again.”