Showcase: Xavier a capella choirs

By: Zenab Saeed ~Staff Writer~

Xavier’s men’s and women’s a capella groups are both anticipating a year full of music and entertainment. Both Harmon-X, the all-male group, and AcaBellas, the all-female group, currently consist of 15 members and serve to provide entertainment through acappella music and performance to the Xavier community and beyond.

Harmon-X, which was founded by friends whose shared a passion for music and performing
compelled them to create a male a capella group, began in the fall of 2010. Every prospective member of the group is required to audition, and the process involves vocalizing to gauge range and some hearing exercises, after which some are invited to a call-back to sing with the group and see how they blend.

Acabellas Group - Facebook dot com
The all-female “Acabellas” following a short performance from this past summer.

Brandon Langjahr is currently a junior and president of Harmon-X. His role involves overseeing the other officers to ensure they are doing their duties, like booking gigs, dealing with finances and selecting repertoire. Furthermore, he serves as the music director and is in charge of warming up the group, doing a couple of exercises with them to work on vowel shapes or blending and teaching the music and making sure it is performance-ready.

“It is amazing knowing that we are a student-run group that learns the music on our own and
we create a program of entertaining music for audiences. What I love about being a member
of Harmon-X is getting to make great music with friends who want the same thing and it can be a great stress reliever at times.

As a music education major, working with the group also serves as great practice for my future
career,” Langjahr said. For Harmon-X, it is difficult to provide a definitive list of upcoming events because the group’s schedule is constantly in flux. “One great thing about being an a capella group is that we need nothing more than our voices to make our music and therefore we don’t require a whole lot of complex planning or advanced notice. We have a set of songs that we can have ready to perform as soon as an opportunity arises,” Langjahr said.

“Just last week, we sang at the Transformation Awards held in the Cintas Center, and from that gig, we were asked to sing on Good Morning Cincinnati, which will be a really great experience,” Langjahr said. AcaBellas is the women’s a capella group and was founded in January 2011. The group performs songs from all genres, practices two days per week.

Auditions are held at the beginning of the school year, and girls from all classes are invited to sing a part of a pop song and demonstrate their voices and ranges.

Harmon-X Group - Facebook dot com
The all-male “Harmon-X” after singing the national anthem before a Reds game

Depending on what spots are needed, students are called back to sing with the group and then
voted in by the existing members. The group regularly performs both on-campus and off-campus throughout the year. Junior Angela Antonelli is on the board of Acabellas and is in charge of printing and distributing music to the group and uploading it to OrgSync for easy access.

“I have been in AcaBellas since my freshman year, and I hope to continue to be a part of the group during my senior year as well. I love to sing and I love to perform, and this is my opportunity to do that with like-minded, fun people,” Antonelli said. Like Harmon-X, AcaBellas engages in small performances regularly on campus as well as some off-campus performances.

The group is planning on showcasing its talent at the “Athenaeum’s” next open mic night on Nov. 20. At the end of the semester, Harmon-X and AcaBellas will join together and spread holiday cheer through a collaborative Christmas concert performance. For more information on their upcoming events, see their Facebook pages, “Harmon-X” and “Acabellas,” and follow them on Twitter and Instagram @HarmonX_XU and @XUacaBellas.