It was a grey, seemingly normal day, I think, for many of the people sitting and having a coffee in Rectors. This was part of the charm and success of the A Cappella Sofa Sessions, a set run by the A Cappella Society with On the Rocks. Featuring and showcasing the musical talent to be had in St Andrews, the event consisted of various a cappella groups performing in an informal setting.
As one of the ‘audience’ members who knew what was to transpire, it was heartening to see the way those who were surprised by the event quickly took to it, and I think the A Cappella Society succeeded in introducing and sharing themselves with members of the St Andrews community (both students and civilians) who might not otherwise have been privy to a cappella on campus, or felt that it was for them.
The Other Guys are easily the most well known of the a cappella groups that were showcased in the sofa sessions, most famous for their reworking of an (unmentionable) Katy Perry song. They performed a set of one or two famous pop song covers among more traditional favourites to those who have followed their work. The audience seemed completely charmed by both their musical professionalism and charisma in performance.
Not to be outdone, however, were the Bells and the Beaus, a male and female a cappella group that I heard in the crowd had competed at a national level a few years ago. The audience seemed to reach an excited hush at a few of their set choices, and changed from half engagement to rapt attention at some of the subtleties in their harmonies.
Overall, I think this event ran smoothly and completely engaged and entertained its audience. My one criticism might be that there could have been a little more information about each group presented and given to the audience. As someone who loves music in general, I would have been very interested to talk with some of the singers afterwards, or even hear a bit about how they train, practice, and what they aim to do as individual groups. This is, of course, a mild criticism, and the a cappella groups who performed will regardless have come out of the sofa sessions with more fans than when they began.