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Wren Ten

A cappella for the people

  • The Wren at 10
    The Wren at 10  In the dark of night, students gather in the Wren Courtyard to experience a cappella William & Mary style.  Photo by Joel Pattison
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William & Mary gets a little crazy about a cappella. With 6,299 undergraduates and 11 different a cappella groups with an average of 15 members each, that means… well, you do the math. But if you attend W&M, chances are you’re either in an a cappella group yourself, are dating someone in an a cappella group, or have had nightmares involving an a cappella group living under your bed.

We hear that some people still don’t understand what’s the “big deal” about a cappella. That’s probably because they’ve only witnessed a cappella in a formal setting, like a big concert in the Wren Great Hall or the Williamsburg Presbyterian Church. Sometimes the magic of great a cappella—the seamless harmonizing and vocal acrobatics—are lost when there’s so much distance between the performers and the audience.

That’s why the William & Mary A Cappella Council (yes, there’s an a cappella council) came up with Wren Ten. Wren Ten is the polar opposite of a formal concert. Every Wednesday night at 10 p.m., one of W&M’s a cappella groups crowds into the Wren Portico for an up-close-and-personal look at world-class a cappella in action.

Why is Wren Ten different? First of all, it’s all about having fun. The performers joke with the crowd, take requests and perform even cheesier skits than usual. Hardcore a cappella fans love it because they can see all of their favorite groups in a casual setting. Newbies love it because it showcases what’s best about a cappella at W&M: the variety of styles, the breadth of repertoire and the fun-loving attitude of the students.

Check out the A Cappella Council website for a current schedule of Wren Ten concerts and experience one of W&M’s most beloved musical traditions in a whole new way.