Free Serenades? Yes, Please!by Surmayee Tetarbe on Sep, 24 2012
As a jaded junior, I have a solid strategy for walking through Sproul during the day.
1) Hands in pockets.
2) Earphones in and blasting music.
3) No eye contact.
4) Permanent RBF.
These four things ensure that I am never handed a flyer by anyone, and believe me, it works. However, there is one thing on Sproul that cracks my RBF and makes me happy (besides the Caliber table of course), and that is the free Sproul shows.
Eight delectable men serenading you with their ooey, gooey voices? Yes, please. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you’re obviously living under a rock. (I am not a stalker or a creep, I promise). These are some of our awesome free Sproul shows by the fantastic a cappella groups we have on campus. Someone is singing something almost every single day, and each year, I manage to set aside some time during the week to watch a group perform. This year (and most of last) it is the UC Men’s Octet, and boy, can those men sing. So if you’re ever bored during the lunch hours of the day with some time to kill on campus, don’t avoid Sproul! Here’s your guide to free entertainment every day!
Artists In Resonance (noon) – AiR! is UC Berkeley’s premiere independent Co-ed a cappella group, featuring 14 fantastic artists. I haven’t had the pleasure of watching them myself, but I have no doubts that they are incredible live. According to their website, “[their] repertoire includes self-arranged pieces, everything from alternative rock and hip-hop to traditional fight songs and Top 40 hits.”
DeCadence (noon) – DeCadence was who I dedicated my freshman year Wednesday breaks to. Their rendition of “The Humans Are Dead” is definitely one of my all time favorites. Known for their fabulous golden capes and incredible voices, DeCadence is a co-ed a cappella group, who have “a long tradition of being quirky performers while still maintaining a high level of musical standards.” I can personally attest to that magnetic quirkiness, which doesn’t let your eyes stray from their performance.
UC Men’s Octet (1pm) – Just in case you have class from noon to one and miss DeCadence, don’t worry. You’re just in time to catch the UC Men’s Octet, perform under the beautiful Sather Gate. This eight member all made a cappella group singlehandedly make “everyday a GO BEARS kind of day” (long time fans will know the significance of that quote) while making all the ladies swoon at the same time. I’m pretty sure I decided not to take Psych 167AC this semester just because it conflicted with the Men’s Octet performing…
Beware though, 5 minutes in and the place is packed. Arrive early to get some prime spots in the seated area, and you’re good to go! All their arrangements are awesome, but Blue Moon holds a special place in my heart, and I basically learned the Cal Drinking Song by watching them sing it.
California Golden Overtones (1pm) – Watch the lovely ladies of the Golden Overtones perform at noon and be prepared to be absolutely blown away. Their pipes are magnificent, and their arrangement of “Rumor Has It” by Adele is one of my all time favorites. Man, can these girls sing! I seriously get goosebumps every time. So worth hanging around on campus on a Friday even if your classes end early!
Noteworthy (2pm) - Noteworthy is, well, noted for not just performing arrangements of various famous songs, but also for showcasing original student compositions. With their standout blue and gold attire, Noteworthy is also known for stopping by your location if you email them with where you’ll be, which is kind of awesome, let’s be real here. They are unfortunately another group I haven’t had the pleasure of hearing live, but I hope to do so in the not-so-distant future!
This by no means is an extensive list of the incredible a cappella groups we have on campus. For a true a cappella experience, drop by any of the a cappella competitions that we hold (Anahat and West Coast A Cappella being a few) as well as the showcase concerts held throughout the year.
Sproul shows are a great way to be entertained and chill with your friends at the same time. Honestly, where else are you going to get serenaded by (non sketchy) people for free? Now take advantage of these wonderful gifts that you are being given and get your butt to Sproul to watch these fabulous students perform!
For more information on any of the groups mentioned or any a cappella groups in Berkeley… google it!