Next week, the Gentlemen of the College and One Accord will give a whole new meaning to “Jingle Bell Rock.”
The two men’s a cappella groups from William & Mary competed with others from across Virginia to be part of the “A Cappella Sing-Off,” which will take place on Dec. 6 at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg. The music and merriment start at 7:30 p.m., and general admission is $25.
In the park’s Globe Theatre, 10 a cappella groups – including groups from James Madison University, Christopher Newport University and the University of Richmond -- will compete for $4,000 dollars in cash prizes.
Sponsored by SunTrust, the “A Capella Sing-Off” will give all proceeds from the event to Williamsburg Choral Guild and Literacy for Life, a program housed in William & Mary’s School of Education that teaches literacy skills to adults.
“We are really excited to be a part of this concert,” said Alexander Blaha ’13, business manager for the Gentlemen of the College. “It is awesome to see a cappella, which can often be seen as silly or even superficial, as a means towards meeting deeply important needs in the community.”
The competition will be hosted by WHRV-FM radio personality Cathy Lewis, and the members of professional a cappella group Rockapella will serve as the judges.
While Rockapella will be judging the participants for the cash prizes, a capella fans can show their support by going to the event’s website and voting for their favorite groups. Each vote costs $1. With enough votes, fans can help their preferred a cappella groups win the “Fan Favorite” award.
“We are also interested in the competitive aspect of this event,” said Blaha. “The Gentlemen have not competed in many years -- not since well before I joined the group -- so this will be a completely new and educational experience for us.”
Win or lose, everything about the event makes it worth doing, said Blaha.
And he promises a fun, blast-from-the-past treat for those fans who can make it there in person to show their support.
“I promise you'll get to hear us sing one of the great 90's boy band hits,” he said.