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New a capella group practices modern music

Photo by Kaia Miller. Concordia A Cappella, a group of student singers, practices in Hvidsten. The group will perform Top 40 hits, jazz and modern choral arrangements at CEC open mic nights.

For the first time in Concordia’s history, an a cappella choir is applying to be an official student organization.

Concordia A Cappella, founded by senior and music education major Jason Bell, is trying to show “talent doesn’t thrive in only the music building,” Bell said.  The 16-person unaccompanied choir is working on pop songs that are far from the traditional music usually performed by Concordia’s music groups.

Bell explained that there is still nothing planned performance-wise other than making appearances at CEC open mic nights. He hopes the group will perform at advertised events both on and off campus. Bell also said the group has an interest in volunteering its talents in the community, perhaps at nursing homes or caroling throughout Fargo-Moorhead during December.

The students in the group represent each grade and many different majors—not just music.  Each member auditioned at the beginning of this year and was chosen by Bell. The group practices once or twice a week.

Robert Chabora, head of Concordia’s music department, is excited for the new a cappella choir.

“A cappella singing is the greatest thing ever in terms of the voice,” Chabora said. “Concordia has a long history of being deeply embedded in western classical music.”

Because of this, he explained that other than Concordia’s Beat, a student-run music recording organization, there isn’t an official student organization that recognizes today’s popular music. Concordia A Capella will help change that.

The group is currently working on an arrangement of “Titanium,” the hit song by David Guetta featuring Sia. The group also plans to perform jazz music and modern choral arrangements.

A cappella choirs date back to the 13th century during music’s Renaissance era. The genre of music is known for its “text declamation,” said Chabora. This is the strategic emphasis on certain syllables and consonants. Compared to other music, it is most apparent in a cappella choir.

Although there are no open spots in Concordia A Cappella, the group may need to audition new members at the beginning of second semester.

 This article was submitted by Andrew Carlson. You can reach him at

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