ALEX PATEL / THE EAGLE
AU’s all-male a capella group On A Sensual Note shined at the Washington Auto Show’s first-ever a cappella competition, in a vibrant performance described by OASN member Taylor Pepper Saia as “sex in a tie.”
The collegiate a cappella competition called “Auto Tunes” featured various local colleges in the D.C. area and included performances from AU’s On A Sensual Note, Catholic University’s Redline and George Washington University’s Pitches.
All three groups were a thrill to watch. Catholic’s co-ed Redline began the competition with their own spin on “It’s Time” and “Rolling in the Deep.” Although there were some problems with pitch, the judges agreed that the leading vocals for both songs were simply amazing. The mix of male and female voices added a great contrast and dynamic to the overall feel of their work.
After Catholic’s fantastic performance, On A Sensual Note came up to the stage and sang, “Lean on Me” and “Fallin’.” The group came together in sync and flowed as one astonishing a cappella machine. OASN gave two solid performances, although the judges said that the group played it too safe in the “Lean on Me” routine. The judges exalted OASN’s Jose Morales, Jr.’s solo in “Fallin,” breaking gendered stereotypes about the singing voices and capabilities of men and women.
Finally, George Washington’s all-female Pitches took the stage and performed “Broken Hearted” and “Seven Nation Army.” The Pitches also gave an incredible performance, but at times, the group felt too rigid. At the end of the piece, one of the judges demonstrated how the melody and beat of Pitches’ composition of “Broken Hearted” could be engineered into a rendition of “Just the Way You are” by Bruno Mars.
Catholic’s group Redline eventually came out on top and won the competition. Nonetheless, each group gave a champion-worthy performance and received various prizes.
Although the groups made it look easy, plenty of dedication and effort went into the final execution. According to OASN member Matt Meyers, the group continued its standard practices in preparation for the competition, but the influx of new members made “practice a little longer than usual.”
All three groups had a similar caliber of skill and were a pleasure to see. Every group was supportive of the others. After seeing Redline and Pitches at rehearsal, OASN’s Matt Lachance described the competition as “really good.”
“Auto Tunes” was highly organized and welcoming to the performers and spectators alike. Additionally, all of the judges at the competition had a cappella experience and accolades, although it was the audience that ultimately chose the winners. Just to prove their worth, the judges demonstrated their singing ability on stage before the competition, resulting in universal applause from the competitors and audience.
The Washington Auto Show’s first “Auto Tunes” competition looks like it is here to stay, and there seems to be no better way to start it off than with local collegiate talent and AU’s very own On A Sensual Note.