Along the streets of the Historic Haymarket in downtown Lincoln lies a stage tucked into Screamers Dining and Cabaret. It will soon host the melodies and voices of four of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s a capella groups.
Those groups, The Red Keys, Boots & Cats, Bathtub Dogs and Pitch Please, will gather to perform for Screamers’ first-ever a capella night on Thursday, Feb. 28 from 8-10 p.m. There will be a $5 admission fee at the door and drink and food specials throughout the night.
Each group typically hosts its own events throughout the school year, but all the groups come together for events like this at least once per semester to perform in one setting. Their last show together was in November.
Maddie Pressler, a sophomore music education major, is a soprano in her first year of being in Boots & Cats and said she is excited to be performing at another all UNL group performance.
“It’s always fun when we get together with the other a capella groups on campus and collaborate to do concerts with everyone else,” she said. “I think it’s also really nice for other people to be able to come and only have to pay one ticket fee and see all the different groups at once.”
Two of the groups, Pitch Please and Boots & Cats, recently performed in the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella quarterfinals competition, and both teams placed in the top two, allowing them to move on to the semifinals in Phoenix, Arizona, from March 29-31. Gracie Williams, a freshman English language arts education major, is an alto in her first year as a member of Pitch Please and said she was ecstatic to learn their group would have the chance to advance to the semifinals of the ICCA competition.
“This was the first time Pitch Please ever advanced on to the semifinals, so we were extremely excited,” she said. “A lot of our Pitch Please members are really good friends with Boots & Cats members as well, so we were super pumped to find out we both will be going to Phoenix because there will be so many people, and it will be really fun.”
Whether it’s a national competition or a more intimate setting with other UNL groups, Williams said she finds enjoyment in all of their performances.
“Actually performing with some sort of stakes when we were dancing [at the ICCAs] has been the most fun,” Williams said. “But I also like the smaller group settings because it’s easier to go around and mingle with each other and talk with the audience afterward.”
This Thursday, each group will get approximately 25 minutes to perform its set, and, according to Williams, Pitch Please will perform the set it performed at the ICCAs and will also incorporate a few past favorites such as The Chainsmokers’ “Don’t Let Me Down” and Jason Derulo’s “If It Ain’t Love.”
“I just want to go out there and have so much fun,” Williams said. “We did a night similar to this first semester, and it was packed and so much fun and just a really cool atmosphere, so I hope everyone can just smile and dance and have a good time.”