Before each song, Cassie Schiller snaps in a rhythmic beat.
They count off, “A one, two, ready and—”
The magic begins instantaneously. With covers of well-loved pop songs (like SZA’s “Kill Bill”), the Royal Pitches — UB’s only treble a cappella group — never fails to cause goosebumps with its members’ fierce voices in “Visions of Sugarplums,” hosted in the SU Theater last Saturday.
While each singer is powerful, there is no clash of dominance. The group operates as one unit, and every member is highlighted throughout the show, whether as a soloist, vocal percussionist (VP) or arranger.
Being on stage is already a formidable challenge. Being musically vulnerable is even harder. But the group rarely shies away from the spotlight and allows the audience to get a glimpse of their world.
One of the songs, “The Scientist” by Coldplay, holds a personal meaning for Schiller, the soloist.
“When I was young, my father would sing it to me as a lullaby,” Schiller, a junior studio art major and the music director, said.
The concert also served as a major milestone for the group’s five newest members. During the concert, all of them were officially initiated into the group with a performance of “Seasons of Love” — a heartwarming, uplifting classic that captured the show’s spirit.
“I was very nervous but all the Royal Pitches are amazing. They make us [the newcomers] feel so comfortable,” Sierra Howard, a freshman sociology and social justice major, said. “And once I was out there, I just felt so connected to them. It’s just an amazing feeling.”
The show ended with roaring applause and calls for an encore. Being the sugarplum fairies they were, the members granted that wish with a mashup of “Glad You Came” by The Wanted and “Counting Stars” by OneRepublic.
“My favorite part [of the show] is just the community and friendship we’ve all built together,” Katie Daugherty, a senior media study major, said. “I want the audience to see how hard we work.”
The arts desk can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mylien Lai is an assistant arts editor at The Spectrum. Outside of getting lost in Buffalo, she enjoys practicing the piano and being a bean plant mom. She can be found at @my_my_my_myliennnn on Instagram.