The TCU A Cappella Society hosted a winter concert in the Brown-Lupton University Union Ballroom on Saturday, Dec. 5, providing the TCU community with some musical holiday entertainment.
The society was joined by two a cappella groups from Southern Methodist University, giving the audience a variety of performances to enjoy at the free event.
The performers sang tunes ranging from classic Christmas carols such as “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” to an original song about the fast-food restaurant chain Chick-Fil-A.
Three different TCU based a cappella groups, the all-male “Horned Tones,” the all-female “Here Comes Treble,” and the mixed-gender “License to Trill” performed at the concert. The trio of groups combine to form the TCU A Capella Society.
Meanwhile SMU’s lineup featured the all-male “Southern Gentlemen” and the all-female “Belle Tones.”
TCU sophomore Raymond Shideler, the president and co-founder of the TCU A Cappella Society, said the concert was a testament to the strong progress of the organization in its brief history. The society was founded in the spring semester of 2015.
“I’m really excited,” Shideler said. This [concert] is a big step for us.”
Shideler said his musical past and the ever-growing popularity of a cappella groups inspired him to start the organization.
“As of last fall we had no TCU a cappella groups. I was in an eight-man a cappella group in high school and I wanted to start that tradition at TCU as well, especially with a cappella groups becoming more popular nowadays on the collegiate level,” Shideler said.
Shideler said the idea for the society began with the concept of the Horned Tones, which he and sophomore Billy Perez worked to create approximately a year ago. Shideler serves as president for the Horned Tones.
“I went to Student Development Services and asked if I could start the group, and they said to rethink it to increase opportunity beyond just the men,” Shideler said.
Shideler said things clicked last semester when he learned about the creation of License to Trill. Shideler said he invited the group to join them, leading to creation of the society.
“Raymond and I both coordinated together to start the society,” said junior Sabrina Harb, the president of License to Trill. “He was starting the guys group [Horned Tones] at the same time I was starting the mixed group. The girls group [Here Comes Treble] stemmed off from a few members from my group and began this semester.”
Like Shideler, Harb said she had a passion for singing before coming to TCU. Harb transferred to TCU entering her sophomore year of college.
“I sang all throughout high school,” Harb said. “I went to Wagner College in New York for my first year and they had an a cappella group there and I auditioned, and then when I transferred to TCU they didn’t have an a cappella group, so I decided I’d start a mixed group here.”
Harb said the society decided to put on the concert since the groups had more free time later in the semester. The society’s only previous concert took place at the end of the spring semester of 2015. Harb was pleased with the turnout of the winter concert.
“We got more people to attend than I thought we would have,” Harb said.
Harb added that having SMU’s groups perform improved the overall experience of the event.
“Having SMU added more dynamics and brought in another element to the show,” Harb said. “It was just a fun little concert.”
Shideler said the society’s secretary initially reached out to the SMU groups. The groups reacted enthusiastically at the invite to perform at the concert.
SMU senior Kellam Witherington, a member of the Southern Gentlemen, said he enjoyed the experience of performing at a rival institution.
“It was a lot of fun. I always like to sing in front of new crowds, see some new faces, get our name out there, sell some CDs, and expand the fan base a little bit.”
Witherington said the group, which was founded in 2008, has already released one album and is in the progress of recording a second album. Witherington said the album is expected to be released in Spring 2016.
Shideler said he hopes to make having a winter concert with SMU’s groups an annual tradition.
“It’s great SMU is willing to work with us and come along to do this concert with us,” Shideler said. “We’re really happy to have them here.”
The society’s members were optimistic that the concert was the next step in boosting the society’s presence on campus.
“We’re still kind of new and getting people to hear about us.” Harb said. “Hopefully now this will spread the word and spread the holiday cheer.”