A crowd awaits the acapella groups in the UMBC Sportzone. Photo by Maya Scheirer.
The lights dim and the crowd is pumped, holding slices of pizza in each hand as the first group takes the stage. The Cleftomaniacs, UMBC’s co-ed acapella group, blows the crowd away with their unique sound and high energy, paving way for the rest of the night’s performers.
This event, “Acapella + Open Mic Night” was one of the many events of UMBC Commonvision’s Art Week 2018. The week kicked off November by showcasing the arts at UMBC, from student photography and digital art to performance and music. Events like the Design and Animation Challenge, Film Showcase, Screenprinting Demo, Craft Days, Paint Night and Condom Art Competition brought all sorts of UMBC majors together to enjoy the arts around campus.
By promoting art student achievements, Commonvision was able to showcase the rich talent and skill fostered on campus. This is especially evident in the Art Week Gallery and Zine on showcase throughout Art Week, containing all sorts of graphic design, painting and photography by UMBC students.
The Acapella + Open Mic Night was rich with musical talent from singer-songwriters and rappers to acapella groups like Taal-Capella, the Stilettos and the UMBC Mama’s Boys. They had toes tapping all throughout the night and performed many songs that the audience could sing along to.
Songs like Earth, Wind and Fire’s “Let’s Groove” performed by Mama’s Boys, UMBC’s all boys acapella group, had the crowd singing and clapping along. Taal-Capella, a South Asian fusion acapella group performed a complex medley of many different American and Bollywood songs all with the same “Cups” song beat in the background.
The Stilettos, UMBC’s all-girl acapella group performed touching love songs while the Cleftomaniacs got laughs out of their rendition of George Jones’ “Honky Tonk Song.”
Overall, the night ended with everyone enjoying the talent of UMBC’s performing arts scene, a feature of UMBC that is not always showcased. Through events like Art Week, Commonvision and UMBC itself are providing a platform for showcasing talents in the arts in a way that engages and pushes students further than what they think they can do.
It is an inspiration to us all, and with each photo and note sung, the UMBC campus culture grows even as we celebrate life with the arts.