A cappella groups take SU’s Winter Carnival to a “cozy” level

SU's a cappella groups cozy up to Winter Carnival

Dressed in sweats and onesies, students warmed Goldstein Auditorium during Cozy Cappella.
Published: February 25, 2022
Cozy Capella
SU's Main Squeeze performs "Can You Hear Me?" by Amber Mark at Cozy Capella on Thursday.

Last night at the Winter Carnival’s Cozy Cappella event, members of six different a cappella groups on campus performed a selection of songs to inspire and bring smiles to people’s faces for the first time since COVID-19 hit back in 2020.

The performance filled Goldstein Auditorium to the rafters, a huge improvement from the virtual performances in 2020. Many a cappella groups went virtual for their performances at that time, and all the members were ecstatic to be back performing live on Thursday. Joyful applause was rampant and the audience celebrated a much-loved SU tradition as group members sang and danced to synchronized numbers.

Channeling Tom Cruise in the 1983 film Risky Business, members of the all-male group Otto Tunes slid onto the stage for their performance, dressed in tube socks, boxers, white button downs and ties. They sang “Sunday Best” by Surfaces and “Love Me Less/Blueberry Eyes” by Max. The all-female group Main Squeeze kept with the cozy theme, performing “Can You Hear Me?” by Amber Mark draped in colorful onesies.

Oy Capella, a co-ed, Jewish a cappella group, performed “Guillotine” by Jon Bellion while Orange Appeal, a tenor-bass a cappella group, performed “She Looks So Perfect” by 5 Seconds of Summer. Groovestand, one of the newer groups on campus, performed “Moon Song/I Know The End” by Phoebe Bridgers and “Hold On” by Justin Bieber.

Cozy Capella
Members of Otto Tunes perform "Sunday Best" by Surfaces at Cozy Capella on Thursday.

A member can come into these singing groups with little or performing experience, making it a fun, authentic environment for everyone and ensuring that the audience has a good time as well. For senior and president of Groovestand Morgan Eaton, this Cozy Capella will be his last. Regardless of that, he wants to focus on the positive side of the evening: having fun and watching groups perform, including his own.

“I love every piece of this evening. I love the music and the vocals of course,” said Eaton.

“Some groups go all out with choreography. And it’s awesome to see. I also enjoyed this because this was my last [Cozy Cappella]. I really enjoyed having this having this moment with all these people.”

When the pandemic hit in 2020, SU performances went virtual, including many of the a cappella groups who performed at Thursday’s event. But for Catherine Bannon, the President of the SU Traditions Commission, keeping up with the traditions of the Carnival is something close to her heart and important to treasure, especially with COVID-19.

Cozy Capella
The Mandarins perform "Damaged" by Danity Kane at Cozy Capella on Thursday.

“I take away a lot of good time enjoying the amazing talents of the a cappella groups we have here,” said Bannon. “And [just] making sure that they don’t forget about all the history and traditions campus has to offer and just checking out what the Traditions Commission has to offer, too.”

For other members of the groups on campus, belonging is another important part of being in the a cappella groups. From The Mandarins to Otto Tunes to Groovestand, aspiring singers and performers are welcome as well as audiences to enjoy performances at the Winter Carnival and throughout the year.

While it may be the last performance for some members of these groups, for others, it is just the beginning. For many of the performers, being in an a cappella group is like being in a big family.

“Before we wrapped up to come here, [I said] just have fun,” said Katie Buddenhagen, a senior and one of The Mandarins’ driving forces.

“Be with each other and enjoy your night and then you know the vocals will come.”