By Julia Duggan
Senior Staff Writer
The a cappella group, i-Tunes, performed their annual spring concert, i-Cabaret, on YouTube in a creative way to showcase the talent of the group while social distancing. The live showing on April 23 featured solos and duets. Alexandra Vargas, a sophomore early childhood education and English dual major hosted the event along with Ryan McLaughlin, a junior and co-musical director of i-Tunes.
“I’m doing a duet with my friend Asa, and we have done a duet together for this particular event every year since we were both freshmen,” said Amanda DeStefano, a senior deaf education and English dual major. “So we decided to ham it up with a music video. It’s quite a spectacle.”
The members were in high spirits leading up to the premiere.
“A lot of people are doing watch parties at home with their families,” Vargas said. “A couple of us are planning on doing an outside viewing for safety and Covid, so I feel like it’ll be a good event.”
The members expressed that they were excited to see all of their fellow i-Tunes members perform.
“I’m looking forward to all the seniors that are going to be performing,” Vargas said. “It’s going to be tough to see them go because we’re all so close, but I’m really glad that they got the opportunity to do this like one last hurrah.”
The performances featured a variety of songs and genres. The video is still available to watch on YouTube. The group traditionally upload videos of their annual i-Cabaret events on YouTube and this year’s event is no exception.
One of the most surprising performances was by DeStefano and Asa-Magnus Sams, a senior English secondary education major. The pair did a duet, singing “You’ve Got a Friend in Me,” by Randy Newman. The performance started by showing a blooper reel of all the silly mistakes that happened during the making of the video. This included both singers forgetting lines, making funny faces at each other, a lot of giggling in the middle of the song and missed choreography. Adding the blooper reel before seeing the song showed the strength of their friendship and that no matter how many takes it took to get the song right, they had fun in making the finished product.
“Obviously Covid is an obstacle, but the only actual physical (challenge) was just the number of takes we had to take,” DeStefano said. “We have a blooper reel, so it was a pretty chaotic afternoon, but the result was acceptable.”
Another unique feature of the collection of performers is the use of guitars and backing tracks. A backing track is the background music that accompanies a performer, but it is recorded without a live musician playing it. One would assume that the songs performed would just be vocals without any accompanying instruments when thinking of an a cappella group.
It was refreshing to see the use of guitars and backing tracks. All that had guitars played while singing was able to showcase some hidden talent that is not always featured in an acapella group.
“It was fun and I’m looking forward to performing again,” Vargas said.