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A cappella groups to meet in Morris Inn battle

| Monday, January 19, 2015

Four of Notre Dame’s and Saint Mary’s a cappella groups will be participating in the A Cappella Battle, a singing competition based entirely on audience votes, Wednesday night at the Morris Inn. The event will feature performances by Bellacappella, The Echoes, Halftime and Harmonia, and the Notre Dame Humor Artists will emcee, according to the event’s Facebook page.

Each of the four groups will perform three songs and then the audience will vote for the overall winning group via text, Kelly Huffman, senior and co-president of Harmonia, Notre Dame’s all-female a cappella group, said.

Michael Nolan, senior and president of Halftime, a Notre Dame co-ed a cappella group, said this event is particularly unique because of its potential for audience engagement.

“[Halftime is] hoping to pack the ballroom with all of our friends and supporters, but we are spending most of our energy perfecting our sound — and dance moves — to hopefully win over the whole audience,” Nolan said.

Although this is not the first time many of the a cappella groups have sung together, they have never competed against one another in this format, Nolan said. Halftime hosts an annual AcaFest, and this year Legends hosted its first a cappella showcase, he said.

“All of Notre Dame’s a capella groups are incredibly talented,” Huffman said. “It’s a great opportunity for us to hear other groups perform. The competition aspect makes it even more fun.”

Emily Affinito, a sophomore member of Harmonia, said she thinks the style of this event will be particularly exciting for the performers and audience.

“Although it’s a friendly competition, it’s fun to get together and show off what [your group] can do and how you are different from the other a cappella groups,” she said.

This is the first time the Morris Inn will be hosting a sing-off event for the a cappella groups, Huffman said.

According to Megan Akatu, director of sales and marketing at the Morris Inn, the competition is part of a new student-run initiative to make the Morris Inn more available to students.

“We really want students to feel comfortable to come to the Morris Inn,” Akatu said. “This is a way for people to come in, sample some food, listen to a really good battle and hopefully feel more comfortable.”

“The audience should expect an exciting, enjoyable night full of popular music, dancing and delicious refreshments,” Nolan said, adding that the other groups should beware Halftime’s dance moves.

Affinito said many Disney numbers will be featured and summed up the show as “some real life ‘Pitch Perfect,’” in reference to the sing-off scene in the 2012 movie starring Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson.

However, unlike in the movie, Huffman said that there were, “no empty pools are available” to host the event.

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