VCU’s two a cappella groups, the Notochords and the R.A.M.ifications, collaborated for the first time on Sunday night with Relay for Life to host a benefit concert in the Student Commons’ Richmond Salons.
The show opened with representatives of Relay for Life speaking about their organization and future events. Following the introduction, three VCU poetry slam group members from Slam Nahuatl performed four different poems. After Slam Nahuatl’s performance, the two a capella groups performed twice.
“We’ve been trying to collaborate for a while now and we thought this was a good time to do it,” said Alex Trihias, the Notochords’ business manager. “We decided to do a benefit concert for Relay for Life so all of the money will go to them.”
One of the two performances for each group included their 10-minute piece from the Sing Strong competition in March, which both groups competed in. To conclude the concert, the two groups did a cover of Kanye West’s “All of the Lights” together.
“We just all have very different voices and very different styles of writing music and arranging music so it was definitely a challenge when we all came together,” Trihias said. “The challenge was really learning it … and also us blending well and sounding good when we add 16, 18 other voices to our already large group of 18 people.”
The idea for the collaborative concert came from R.A.M.ifications director Anneliese Grant. She said it was an idea for not only raising money but to also inspire more a capella groups to form on campus.
“As soon as I approached the Notochords director she was definitely hands on and completely into the idea and the event planner for Relay for Life was the same, everybody just jumped on board,” Grant said.
Tickets were $5 for VCU students and $10 for non-students. More than $600 were spent between the two groups to fund the black lights, Trihias said. Glow sticks were also dispersed to audience members.
“This is the first event that the two of us have put on together, planned together and we’ve gotten an opportunity for the two groups to rehearse together and get to know each other better,” Grant said.
Senior creative advertising major Keilani Mansfield said both groups had good stage presence during their performances.
“I thought the show was amazing, I used to be the beat boxer for the Notochords so I (was) here supporting all my friends,” Mansfield said.
Freshman mass communications major Katie Cappuccio said she thought the soloist could have been a little louder but overall she thought the concert was “phenomenal.”
“I think the end performance when they came together was the best,” Cappuccio said. “I’d say great job, I know that it was a lot of hard work and I thought it was a really good show.”
CORRECTION: A previous version of the story incorrectly identified Keilani Mansfield. The CT regrets this error.