Luther College Chips

Creating community with a cappella

Zach Loving (‘19), Bromatic Progression.

Zach Loving (‘19), Bromatic Progression.

Photo courtesy of Photo Bureau

Photo courtesy of Photo Bureau

Zach Loving (‘19), Bromatic Progression.

Cara Keith, Staff Writer

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Fermata Nowhere, Bromatic Progression, Beautiful Mess, and Undeclared — the four Luther a cappella groups — performed their spring concert in Storre Theater on Saturday, May 12.

The seats and some floor space were filled as the a cappella groups entered Storre Theater.

Typically, the a cappella groups put on one concert per semester to showcase the music they worked on over the semester.

Photo courtesy of Photo Bureau
Tori Hornby (‘20), Fermata Nowhere.

Each of the groups chose the music for this concert. Many of the songs were fun and upbeat, such as Undeclared’s performance of “Toxic” by Britney Spears, Bromatic Progression’s performance of “1985” by Bowling for Soup, Beautiful Mess’s performance of “Havana” by Camila Cabello, and Fermata Nowhere’s performance of “Guillotine” by Jon Bellion.

Leader of Undeclared Zane Larson (‘19) described how the group chose what music to perform.

Photo courtesy of Photo Bureau
Tamar Tedla (‘20), Beautiful Mess.

“At the beginning of the semester, we usually just sit down and fill up a chalkboard with a list of songs we like,” Larson said. “Then we listen to all of them and choose the ones we want. And then I contact some arrangers and see if they’re feeling any and they’ll send me back the ones they like and we choose from those. I’ve also helped arrange some stuff and some stuff we figure out by ear.”

The groups took turns performing, each doing two sets. While one group was performing, the other a cappella groups sat on the sides of the stage in support.

Photo courtesy of Photo Bureau
Sean McKenzie (‘20), Undeclared.

Each of the groups chose to sing at least one song to acknowledge the recent hate acts that occurred on campus. Fermata Nowhere sang “Ultralight Beam” by Kanye West, which the group believed to be an explicit call for change, and Beautiful Mess sang “Love You Like That” by Dagny after encouraging the audience to attend Decorah’s first pride parade in town. 

Fermata Nowhere, Luther’s only co-ed a cappella group, was started this year, making this their first appearance in the spring a cappella concert. Co-leader of Fermata Nowhere Lauren Eakes (‘19) enjoyed the dynamic between the a cappella groups on campus.

Photo courtesy of Photo Bureau
Jeffrey Lackman (‘18), Undeclared.

“It’s been a really good year with the other a cappella groups,” Eakes said. “I was really nervous about that. Starting a new group, I didn’t want to seem like I was stepping on anyone’s toes or taking members from their groups, but our group has been really well-received, especially with the other a cappella leaders, like Zane and [Coordinator of Beautiful Mess Kirsten Elstad (‘18)]. I text them all the time [asking], ‘Hey what do I do about this?’, and [it has] just been a great collaboration.”

The different groups share all of the responsibilities to put together the concert. Elstad collaborated with other a cappella groups to put on the concert.

Photo courtesy of Photo Bureau
Emma Deihl (‘18), Beautiful Mess.

“There is a lot of behind the scenes work with planning a concert,” Elstad said. “First we have to find a venue that is realistic, second we have to get approved for that venue, and third we have to figure out how sound and lights will work for the venue chosen.”

Attendee Kelsey Dinndorf’s (‘21) favorite part of the a cappella concert was the groups’ energy.

Photo courtesy of Photo Bureau
Nathan Riley (‘18), Bromatic Progression.

“I really liked how all the a cappella groups were really into their music and it looked like they were having a lot of fun,” Dinndorf said. “I had fun watching them and I think everyone in the room was just having a great time overall.”

This was the last big performance of the year for the a cappella groups. The ensembles will hold auditions in the fall for new members to join their groups.

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