Wearing denim, leather, fishnet stockings and Beatles T-shirts, Northeastern a cappella group Treble on Huntington took the stage at AfterHours for “Rockappella,” their end-of-semester showcase, with three other college groups Sunday night.
The show was an opportunity for Treble on Huntington to perform the set that won them awards in the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella, or ICCA, a tournament that brings together student a cappella groups from around the world. The group took third place in the semifinal round, the farthest they have ever gone in the competition.
“We didn’t even go into it saying, ‘We need to place, we need to get to semis,’” said Natalie Jones, a fourth-year math and biology combined major who is both the president and treasurer of Treble on Huntington. “We were just like, ‘We’re going to do our best, we’re going to have fun with it, and we’re not going to kill each other over it.’ And that made it even better that we ended up doing so well.”
With their competition season over, it was time for Treble on Huntington to have some fun. They opened the show by debuting two new songs, “Sue Me” by Sabrina Carpenter and “Make Up” by Vice and Jason Derulo. Both were instant hits with the crowd.
“We just wanted some fun things for the spring, after the competition season, songs that everyone really likes to sing,” Jones said.
The evening’s theme, Rockappella, also offered the group a chance to cut loose. Continuing their tradition of themed spring concerts, Treble on Huntington showed up in what Jones described as “biker clothes,” wearing attire that wouldn’t look out of place at a Motley Crue show.
In their performances, however, the a cappella groups stuck to pop and R&B hits, with a few surprises thrown in. After Treble on Huntington’s opening two numbers, the CharlieChords, Berklee College of Music’s only all-male a cappella group, took the stage.
Dressed in a striking black-and-red color scheme, the CharlieChords showed a wide variety of talent, including a vocal percussion breakdown on “Whatever It Takes” by Imagine Dragons and rich three-part harmonies on their closing song, “Brother” by Needtobreathe.
Northeastern’s own Distilled Harmony took the stage next. Adhering to the rock theme with flannels and leather jackets, the group delivered a passionate performance, culminating in a powerful finale with “In My Blood” by Shawn Mendes. The group also teased their upcoming album “High Definition,” which is set to release soon.
The next group to perform was the surprise of the evening: The Bean Tones, Berklee’s barbershop quartet. The group wasn’t originally planned for the bill until Treble on Huntington discovered them busking on Newbury Street and invited them to perform.
“We were busking ourselves, and when we finished we were just walking around shopping, and we saw them busking. We stopped to listen, and we were like, ‘These guys are awesome,’” said Kismet Seekond, a second-year communications studies major and the rising president and treasurer of Treble on Huntington.
The Bean Tones had the audience clapping for numbers like Queen’s “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” and Billy Joel’s “The Longest Time.” They concluded with a barbershop quartet interpretation of “Ripped Pants” from SpongeBob SquarePants, performing to cheers and laughter.
The show concluded with Treble on Huntington’s performance of their ICCA set. The set kicked off with “Taste” by Betty Who, featuring a showstopping vocal performance by first-year health science major Maryrose Hahn. Hahn won the award for Best Soloist at the ICCA semifinals for her performance.
“As a first-year, just having a solo in itself was great, but winning an award was incredible,” Hahn said.
The set also featured “Finest Hour” by Cash Cash and Abir and a medley of “River” by Bishop Briggs and “Twice” by Christina Aguilera, both delivering a powerful, reverb-heavy ensemble sound. Though the small stage limited the group’s choreography, for which they also won an award in the ICCA semifinals, they made up for it with a passionate performance.
Now, Treble on Huntington has returned to the recording studio to track their set as an EP to be released in the fall. The group doesn’t plan to return to the ICCA competition next year, instead looking to find other venues at which to perform.
Seekond described how the work that Treble on Huntington put in this year opened up new opportunities for them.
“Hard work pays off. We really worked for it,” Seekond said. “In the past, I don’t think we thought of ourselves as a group that was trying to win ICCA ever. But we’ve gotten to a point where we’re ready to work hard enough to get to that point.”