Advertised as similar to the “riff off” seen in the popular movie Pitch Perfect, an inter-collegiate a cappella group competition, the Riff Off event in the Granite State Room on April 1 was a fun evening of musical and comedic performance. The event was run by the UNH chapter of Alpha Phi Omega (APO), a co-ed community service fraternity, and hosted by Improv Anonymous.
Each group performed one song for each of the four categories: Love Songs, Throwback, Top Hits, and Best Song. The a cappella groups who performed were Maiden Harmony, Off the Clef, The New Hampshire Gents, and Not Too Sharp.
Between categories there were interactive performances from the Improv Anonymous hosts and UNH’s sketch comedy group, Sketched Out. There were concessions and raffle tickets that could be purchased, which were donated by community members and local businesses. The businesses who donated gift cards and items included Tacomano, Village Pizza, Social Hair Lounge, Red’s Carpet Florist, Durham House of Pizza, The Candy Bar, Hayden Sports, Young’s, The Works, Olive Garden, Victoria’s Secret. The Waysmeet Center also donated flowers to give the winners, and two SCOPE Future tickets were donated for the raffle. The money gained, $700, was split between APO and its Relay For Life team: Team Grossi.
According to co-organizer, APO fundraising co-chair, Freshman Kayla Kenney, “We really enjoyed getting the local community involved. This event was a big success in my mind.”
Every a cappella group was awarded one of the four “Best in category” prizes, which were little golden men statues. The end of the event had the appearance of a mini version of the Oscars or Grammys.
Performance songs included “Good Vibrations”, Justin Bieber’s “Baby”, and “Stacy’s Mom.” An interesting note is that the groups of all one gender, namely Maiden Harmony, Not Too Sharp, and The NH Gents, wore matching outfits, while Off the Clef, the only co-ed a cappella group at the event, wore a variety of colors.
Different from the riff off in “Pitch Perfect,” though, was how the groups each got a chance to do a complete song on stage that they rehearsed ahead of time. The audience was seated in theatre fashion in front of the stage.
The majority of the audience left before the raffle winners were fully announced, only staying to hear the showcase of UNH vocal talent.