Pitches be Trippin’ celebrates 10-year anniversary
The a cappella group honored alumni and graduating members with songs old and new
Pitches Be Trippin’ celebrated its 10-year anniversary with a concert in the Kay Spiritual Life Center on Saturday that included new arrangements and blasts from the past. The group performed a mix of well-known pop songs and emotional bangers that generated standing ovations.
Pitches be Trippin’ was founded in 2013 by American University students to establish a community for upper-voice singers of all music styles.
“I’m so thrilled that we have this chance to honor all the pitches who came beforehand,” Elizabeth Napier, Pitches be Trippin’s music director and a senior in the School of Communication, said. “This is a celebration of everything Pitches has been and everything it will be.”
Helena Chaves, the manager of Pitches be Trippin’ and a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences and School of Public Affairs, said the group has been preparing for the anniversary for the past year.
“It’s been a really long process to make it what it was today,” Chaves said. “I’m really proud of the finished product.”
Preparations for the concert included trying different members for different parts to highlight everyone’s talents, according to Napier, who conducted the members throughout the performance.
Besides establishing a community for singers, the group's founders also wanted to assist and uplift the voices of marginalized communities through community service.
The 10-year anniversary concert doubled as a fundraiser for the non-profit organization Task Force Nyx. Task Force Nyx is an organization that helps Afghan women who are writers, journalists, artists and activists achieve “access to dignified third-country resettlement and asylum.”
“It’s a wonderful organization and they are really looking for donors to make sure their organization stays afloat,” Chavez said.
The concert kicked off with a powerful performance from Chaves, who belted Back to Black by Amy Winehouse. Pitches Be Trippin’ originally performed the song in 2017, but for this concert, Chaves made some fresh rearrangements.
“I really wanted the song to be on the setlist because Amy Winehouse is the whole reason why I sing,” Chaves said before the performance. “So it’s so incredibly amazing I get to sing her for my final concert.”
Jocelyn Quinan, a freshman in SPA, performed the song “Pray” by Sam Smith for the first time Saturday, despite the fact that former Pitches be Trippin’ member Nadia Nugent originally arranged it in 2020.
Quinan’s rendition of the song elicited cheers from the audience when they hit the high notes during the chorus.
Both Chavez and Napier said it feels “bittersweet” to have performed their last concert at AU. The performance closed out with all four Pitches Be Trippin’ seniors singing main vocals for “You Gotta Be” by Des’ree while holding hands.
Every Pitches Be Trippin’ senior has performed the song at their last concert since 2014.
“It’s an honor to be up here with all my friends to sing this song one last time,” Chaves said.
This article was edited by Sara Winnick, Kylie Bill and Abigail Pritchard. Copy editing done by Isabelle Kravis.
Correction: a previous version of this story misspelled Jocelyn Quinan's last name as Quinn. The story was updated to include the correct spelling.