BRATTLEBORO >> You have to be really good to make it into a collegiate level a cappella group. It requires lots of practice and the ability to be a good stage performer in a very competitive field, but the Brattleboro area consistently produces qualified singers who do make it, and they return to Brattleboro each year with their group for the Collegiate A Cappella Concert. Now in its 13th year, the concert is set to take place at the Latchis Theater on Saturday.
Local resident Dede Cummings first thought of the idea when her son became a member of Brown University's Jabberwocks, it has since become a yearly event as a benefit for the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center. College a cappella groups who currently have student members from this region are invited to participate. Four of the groups slated to perform on Saturday features a singer who grew up in the Brattleboro area, starred in local musical productions, and graduated from Brattleboro Union High School. They are Casey Greenleaf of the Skidmore Dynamics, Seth Keller Marcil of Castleton University Vocal Unrest, Benson May of the Yale Society of Orpheus and Bacchus, and Aurora Phillips of the Tufts Amalgamates.
Danny Lichtenfeld, director of Brattleboro Museum & Arts said, "The fact that so many local kids are involved in music at the college level and beyond is a testament to the outstanding teaching and performance opportunities available at BUHS, the Brattleboro Music Center, New England Youth Theater, and Vermont Jazz Center."
The all-male Dartmouth Aires and Tufts Beelzebubs are veterans of NBC's a cappella competition show, The Sing-Off. Both groups make a point of including Brattleboro on their annual touring schedules, which also feature performances throughout the country and around the world, at major sporting events, and at such venues as Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and The White House. The Bubs were the real-life voices of the Dalton Academy Warblers on the hit TV series Glee, and they were the focus of the book Pitch Perfect, on which the recent blockbuster Hollywood movies were based. BMAC Director and concert emcee Lichtenfeld is an alumnus of the group.
"Giving these kids a chance to return to their hometown and strut their stuff in front of a sold-out crowd is one of the best things about this event," said Lichtenfeld. "It's exactly what former producer Dede Cummings envisioned when she founded this concert 13 years ago."
Tickets are available exclusively through www.brattleboromuseum.org. Prices range from $20 to $35, with a limited number of front-row, VIP tickets available at $75 each. This popular event regularly sells out, so those interested in attending are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance. For more information, call BMAC at 802-257-0124, ext. 101.
Brattleboro's 13th Annual Collegiate A Cappella Concert will take place at the Latchis Theater, 50 Main St., Brattleboro on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. It is sponsored by Brattleboro Savings & Loan, The Richards Group, and Twombly Wealth Management Group.
For those who can't make it on Saturday, BCTV will be recording it and making it available on their web site shortly after the performance for viewing at www.brattleborotv.org