Drastic Measures holds Spring Invitational: A capella singers share their talents with audience

Junior Jake McVey croons a cover of “Dancing on my Own” by Robyn.

Isabella Gentile, Features Editor

The melodic voices of many a capella students could be heard in the Rec Center on Sunday, April 15 as Drastic Measures held its Spring Invitational, entitled “Ending on a High Note.” 

The show began at 7 p.m. and was filled with successful efforts to convey the rhythm, beats, and vocals of different songs without any backing tracks.

Drastic Measures took the stage first, starting off with Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know.” The range of vocalists that they had were able to hit both the high and low notes in this song, picking up on every beat.

Their second selection, “Ain’t It Fun” by Paramore, had a more upbeat tone, and members of the audience could be seen smiling along with the singers as they danced to the beat. 

RWU was not the only school represented in the showcase. Rhody Rhapsodies, an a capella group from the University of Rhode Island, performed a set beginning with “Sweet Child O’ Mine” by Guns N’ Roses.

“Heartless” by Kanye West was next, with soloists, and their segment ended with a Daft Punk Medley, originally performed by the renowned a capella group Pentatonix. The Rhody Rhapsodies was also the first group in the show to have a beatboxer, which added an interesting element to the songs.

Hawkward, RWU’s other a capella group, was next in the lineup, boasting a set of four songs. John Legend’s “Love Me Now” was their opener, followed by Bishop Briggs’ “River,” and Calum Scott’s version of “Dancing On My Own.” The group closed out its set with “Lionheart” by Demi Lovato, which they have performed at multiple events on campus this year. Each of their songs featured different and powerful male and female soloists who embodied the songs in their own ways.

College of the Holy Cross presented an all male a capella group, Sons of Pitches, who dressed to impress, coming onto the stage in suit jackets. Their set began with “Creeks” by Bon Iver, which allowed the singers to take large pauses in between verses and really emphasize each note with their lower tones. “Lego House” by Ed Sheeran was next up for the men. All of the group members were visibly having fun during their last song, Justin Timberlake’s “What Goes Around… Comes Back Around,” as they spun around to the lyrics and dropped down low when they sang the line, “Is this the way it’s really going down?” 

To close the show, Drastic Measures came out to perform again for the crowd. “Unsteady” by X Ambassadors was their first selection, which provided a more somber feel. Ellie Goulding’s “Anything Can Happen” increased the energy and got the crowd moving, especially when the soloist, Drastic Measures’ Music Director Syd Dawson, started repeating the line “I know it’s gonna be,” and the audience clapped along with her.

Their final song was Andy Grammer’s “Fine By Me,” sung by senior members Alicia Johnson, Cacey Longley, and Danielle Aquillo. The other members provided backup vocals for the three soloists and all of the singers looked extremely content singing, while sharing their passion for music.

All four groups received loud applause from the audience and each put forth a representative who attested to how excited they were to be performing here. On behalf of Drastic Measures, Dawson thanked all of the groups for coming to the showcase and expressed her excitement for the next year’s event.

“We hope to see everyone next year, especially Hawkward,” Dawson joked. “You know, because they go here, so they better show.”