The sweet harmony of A Cappella Festivella 21

The human voice is an instrument in itself. While pop music is saturated with production and synthesizers, a cappella music relies solely on vocal harmony. Proving that the public likes getting back to basics, UAA’s annual “A Capella Festivella” celebrates its 21st at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 9 in the Wendy Williamson Auditorium.

“Not only do students come, but we have families,” said Felipe Godoy Diaz, senior marketing and management double major and Concert Board member. “As a cappella has caught on with mainstream audiences, more people have come out.”

Thanks to talent shows like NBC’s “The Sing-Off” and FOX’s “Glee” a cappella music has inundated American households.

“The cool thing about a cappella is that you need a lot of talent,” Diaz said. “I think people are drawn to that.”

This year’s line-up includes The Filharmonic, a Los Angeles-based group of five singers and a beatboxer, Fermata Nowhere, a 17-member outfit hailing from Mt. San Antonio College in San Antonio, Texas, and UAA’s own Glee Club opening the show.
“I don’t think there was necessarily pressure to pitch for a big name,” said Daniel Jost, junior economics major and Concert Board member. “One thing we always try to do is get an artist that students are going to be excited about.”
Last year, Concert Board booked a cappella superstars and third season “Sing-Off” winners, Pentatonix.

“Pentatonix had a really broad appeal … just as a popular group,” Jost said, “but (The Filharmonic) is still a quality act … the name is still going to be able to reach out to people.”

Alongside the bigger names, UAA’s Glee Club will take the main stage as well.

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“We really try to strive to collaborate with other institutions (on campus),” Diaz said. “We want to showcase our university’s talent.”

While the Glee Club has been involved with “A Cappella Festivella” in the past, they don’t get showcased every year. Last year, they performed at an alumni function just before “A Cappella Festivella 20” and again in the lobby of the Wendy Williamson before the show.

“We’ve tried to incorporate them one way or another,” Diaz said. “It’s important to us that they’re a part of the process.”

“A Cappella Festivella 21” will take place at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 9 in the Wendy Williamson Auditorium. Tickets are $5 advance/$10 door for UAA students, $15 advance/$20 door for UAA staff, faculty, alumni and youth, and $20 advance/$25 door for the general public. Visit Concert Board at and for more information.

Pentatonix perform a sold-out show at A Cappella Festivella 20 on Oct. 17, 2013, at the Wendy Williamson Auditorium. Courtesy of UAA Concert Board.