No Comment and the Illini Dads Association will be presenting the first ever Dads Weekend Concert Extravaganza featuring three of the University’s very own a capella groups: No Comment, Girls Next Door, and the Xtension Chords. The concert, “A Tribute to Dad,” will take place on November 11 at 7:30 p.m. in Foellinger Auditorium.
The Dads Weekend concert will offer students and parents an engaging performance that both supports and showcases the University’s very own talent.
Maddi Wethall, President of No Comment, says, “I think it’s super cool because everything that you’re hearing is coming from people’s mouths. There’s no instruments, there’s no backtracks, there’s no autotune or anything like that. So it’s very raw, I would say.”
No Comment is a University co-ed a capella group that now boasts 15 members. Wethall says they are mainly a competition group that focuses on ICCA during the second semester in addition to their Spring show, ACEX. This year, the Illini Dads Association concert will be their Fall show.
Wethall says they have plans to make the concert a special tribute to Illini dads and their students that will contribute to the Dads Weekend excitement.
“We are planning to do a fun dads versus kids competition and that’s something I’m really looking forward to.” Wethall says. “We’re trying to figure out an oldie throwback that dads would really like and we’re going to do a combined song with No Comment, the Xtension Chords and Girls Next Door. That’s still in the works but it’s exciting because obviously all of us can sing and it would be fun to all sing a song together.
Girls Next Door is an all-female a capella group founded in 1971 that is completely student-led through a five-member executive board. GND organizes 4 shows throughout the year as well as smaller performances within the community. In the past, GND has performed at nursing homes as well as local hospitals for children.
Nina Graulty, Public Relations Chair for GND, says, “That’s obviously rewarding in a different way because it’s not just for us anymore. Sometimes when we sing something really emotional and someone in the audience is crying, it’s really amazing to see how we were able evoke that emotion in someone.”
Additionally, GND encourages its members to learn different vocal parts, which is a unique aspect of the all-female a capella group.
Graulty says, “ I think most groups usually have set voice parts. So what we like to do to promote learning different parts and vocal health is that we actually mix up the parts.”
GND is currently comprised of 13 members, which has allowed them to become a close-knit group of women that Graulty says is a lot like family. That same sentiment is shared within each group as well as in between the different a capella groups on campus.
Johnny O’Gara, business manager for the Xtension Chords, says that the most rewarding aspect of being involved with the a capella community is the friendships.
“There are ten a capella groups on campus and then we have exchanges with each other, barn dances, formal and it’s really like a smaller version of Greek life,” says O’Gara.
The Xtension Chords is an all-male a capella group on campus that combines both music and comedy to differentiate their performances. Every year, the Xtension Chords are asked to perform on sorority bid day in the Fall and Moms Weekend in the Spring. They also organize an annual Fall show called X-Fest and a Spring show called Acapalooza.
“A lot of what we do is use comedy to our advantage. We dedicate a full 5 minutes to our set of just doing this one comedy bit called ‘what we’re thinking while we’re singing.’ So we get to have that aspect, I think, which is a really cool part of what we’re doing,” says O’Gara.
Not only do the Xtension Chords incorporate comedy into their performances, the group has also developed a one-of-a-kind aesthetic that sets them apart from other male a capella groups.
Dan Antman, member of the Xtension Chords, says, “We’re very eclectic looking and we’re goofy, which kind of adds to the point that we’re just a bunch of random dudes that sing together. With other groups, usually their dress code is more serious and ours is definitely more of an aesthetic piece that’s meant to add to the goofy atmosphere we create.”
Discounted ticket sales to the 2017 Dads Weekend A Capella concert end on October 13. Each general admission ticket will be sold for $10. All three groups will also be participating in Acatoberfest on October 21.
“We’re hoping this concert just adds another campus event that you can go to that’s family friendly and it’s a real feel-good event. We know that parents will leave with a smile on their face,” says O’Gara. “In the past there’s been a football game, tailgating, but there hasn’t really been something to do at night, so we’re hoping this can be something you’ll want to do with your dad then.”
Don’t forget to follow No Comment, Girls Next Door, and the Xtension Chords on social media for regular updates and music!
Youtube: No Comment A Capella
Girls Next Door
Spotify: Girls Next Door a Capella
Youtube: Xtension Chords
Spotify: Xtension Chords