From the front row looking back, there wasn’t an empty seat in Plachta Auditorium as students, faculty and Mount Pleasant residents gathered to hear an a capella collaboration by the name “Aca-Chips.”
The concert, made possible by the Central Michigan University Program Board, was a collaboration of the three a capella groups on CMU’s campus, including Central Harmony, On The Rox and Fish N Chips.
Audience members were encouraged to tweet the hashtag #AcaChips to be displayed on the screen on stage as students were excited and anxious for what this first concert of this kind would bring.
One of those students was Cheboygan junior Morgan Mills.
“It will be really cool to see how these groups work together,” Mills said before the show. “The audience will get to see how each group is different, but see how they all come together through music.”
After a short introduction by Program Board Event Coordinator Josh Palmer, Central Harmony took the stage and excitement filled the room.
The group began with a playful version of “The Circle of Life,” with one of the front and center members holding a stuffed Simba. The group’s fun and playful nature didn’t end there. It continued through their renditions of, “I Can Go the Distance,” “Come On Eileen” and the audience was clapping and singing along to Queen’s “Somebody to Love.”
The group showcased their amazing range through both male and female solos and leads, displayed especially in their performances of Coldplay’s, “Paradise” and OneRepublic’s, “Counting Stars.”
A capella magic continued with the 16-member all-female group On The Rox, who took the stage in classy black attire and captivated the audience with their first song, “Hit Me With Your Best Shot.”
The group continued with a song made famous by contemporary artist, Calvin Harris, “Sweet Nothing,” which displayed their ability to produce perfect harmonies.
On The Rox upheld their reputation of greatness with their renditions of Justin Timberlake’s, “Mirrors,” Neon Trees’, “Everybody Talks” and Muse’s, “Madness.”
The crowd’s energy up until this point was unparalleled. That is, until Fish N Chips took stage.
With their matching blue button up shirts and khaki pants, the audience was swooning before their performance even began.
Beginning with the crowd favorite, “Isn’t She Lovely?” the all-male group provoked screams and cheers from the crowd.
This continued with the performance of Marvin Gaye’s, “Let’s Get It On” and Bell Biv DeVoe’s, “Poison.” The group separated itself with the performance of rap artist, Drake’s, “Hold On, We’re Going Home,” as they stomped on the stage to provide a beat.
The group danced, swayed and moved about the stage and screams from the crowd were in high supply.
Fish N Chips ended its performance by inviting their alumni to join them on the stage for their classic rendition of, “Cecilia” by Simon and Garfunkel.
The show ended with a breathtaking collaboration by the three groups with Pentatonix’s, “Run To You,” which led to a standing ovation by a pleased crowd.
Students were overwhelmingly positive in their reactions to Aca-Chips and recognized the enthusiasm of each group.
“My favorite song was ‘Let’s Get It On,’ because it was really very smooth,” said Fowlerville sophomore Deanna Crusan. “Fish N Chips were amazing because they were dancing around the stage and just looked like they were having so much fun.”
Palmer was pleased with the turnout of the concert, which was projected at 800, but was just shy of 1,000.
“I would say this was an extremely successful collaboration that brought the CMU a capella community together and provided great entertainment,” Palmer said. “The purpose of the event was to provide quality entertainment, but it also gave each of the groups that performed an opportunity to gain an even larger audience.”
The groups were happy to collaborate and each said they would gladly participate in future Aca-Chips events.
“I was in Central Harmony last semester as well and I didn’t know hardly anyone from the other a capella groups on campus,” said Brighton freshman Katie Lenninger. “With this event, I made it a point to get to know everyone; this whole experience was extremely fun.”