MARCH 10, 2013
The VCU a capella team R.A.M.ifications decided to adandon their beach vacations and movie marathons this spring break to take classes and participate in a singing competition.
From March 1 to March 3, the team traveled to Reston, Va. to perform in the national Sing Strong music festival.
The festival, an annual event whose profits go to Alzheimer’s associations and local music programs, is a three-day competition where a capella groups perform for audiences and take classes to improve their singing.
“(The festival) is not your standard collegiate a cappella competition,” said Grant, a junior. Sing Strong includes groups of all ages, including a few professional groups.Anneliese Grant, president of the R.A.M.ifications, does not think Sing Strong is a typical competition for most college level groups.
“Any time we perform in public it is an opportunity to improve our performance in competitions,” Grant said in an email. “We get to practice performing on stage and see how it will feel when there is an audience.”
At the concert, the R.A.M.ifications performed three songs: “Because” by the Beatles, “Settle Down” by Kimbra and “Boogie Wonderland” by Earth, Wind and Fire.
Director DeeVa Payne said that she chose the songs because they showcased the versatility of the group.
“‘Because’ is a beautiful song that shows off our musical capabilities. ‘Settle Down’ shows our style and our personality and ‘Boogie Wonderland’ is a crowd-pleasing hit that shows off our fun side while delivering a difficult arrangement,” Payne said. “Our set is a complete performance with highs and lows.”
Attending the competition allowed members of the group to meet professional singers, like Diana Priesler of the vocal groups Blue Jupiter and NOTA, the winners of the first season of the NBC a capella competition series “The Sing-Off.”
At the end of the competition, the audience members texted who they thought would be the winning group. The all-female James Madison University group, Noteworthy, won for the second time and received $1,000.
There were no places or prizes given out after first place, so VCU R.A.M.ifications does not know where they stood against the other teams.