Last Friday, Duly Noted held its first formal show at Mother’s Wine Emporium in the Rensselaer Union, showcasing 9 songs. Duly Noted, RPI’s only all-male a cappella group, performed in conjunction with guest groups Cornell University Chordials and University of Massachusetts Amherst Vocal Suspects in a vibrant, melodious performance.
The evening began with the Cornell Chordials, who delivered five songs to an eager audience. The things that impressed me the most were their amount of energy and variety in music choices, both of which were immense. Performing songs that ranged from a country “Cowboy Casanova” by Carrie Underwood to a Motown “Papa was a Rollin’ Stone” by the Temptations, the Chordials gave a lot of life to the music; they had the audience clapping along to the latter song as part of their soulful finale.
Next up was the UMass Amherst Vocal Suspects, who also performed five songs for the night. The group’s repertoire was more contemporary, consisting of songs such as “Halo” by Beyonce, “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder, and “Eye to Eye,” by Disney (from A Goofy Movie). One highlight of the Suspects came during “Halo,” when the male members spread their arms in the air and made a hand-shaped halo for each of the female singers.
After a brief intermission, the long-awaited performance for the RPI crowd came. Duly Noted is comprised of 11 members, each of whom was given a personalized, humorous introduction. For example, when introducing Jim Tatalias ’10, Ben Santagata ’11 joked that Tatalias actually meant to head to American Idol but accidently found Duly Noted. Samtagata was jokingly credited with having saved Michael Phelps’ life, while Matt Jackson ’13 claimed to be a Jackson 5 rejectee.
The group remained light-hearted throughout the evening; during the opener “the Lion Sleeps Tonight,” by The Tokens, the group began snoring before the song even started, then promptly launched into a spirited performance, involving lots of jumping around. Duly Noted’s creativity was further showcased through its choreography. “Dancing in the Moonlight” by Toploader featured group members constantly revolving around each other in oval patterns across the stage.
“Afternoon Delight” by the Starland Vocal Band even made an appearance in all of its not so vague sexual reference glory.
The crowd received a true treat from Duly Noted through the various soloists that performed. Stephen Ball ’12 gave a lively presentation with “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” as well as an emotional act in “Apologize” by OneRepublic. “Only Truth” by ACAPPELLA was delivered elegantly by Colton Schroeder ’12, who had the ability to keep up with the fast-pace lyrics.
Justin Nelson ’11 and Santagata gave a lively performance in “Down” by Jay Sean in the finale, which featured a front flip by Santagata over Gavin Templer ’11 and culminated in a standing ovation by the audience.
For their first show, Duly Noted put on a truly great one. The group has shown vast improvement since their last campus appearances in the spring semester.
Although the group is relatively new to RPI, as it was only formed in fall 2008, it has proven itself to be just as good as any of the other three a cappella groups at RPI, displaying both professionalism and a good sense of humor. They can only become better, and I can’t wait to see their next show.