The University of New Hampshire (UNH) acapella Riff Off, hosted by Alpha Phi Omega, returned live for the first time since the pandemic on Friday, Oct. 22.  

The event, which took place in the Memorial Union Building’s (MUB) Granite State Room, showcased six acapella groups, including Off the Clef, The New Hampshire Notables, Maiden Harmony, UNH Wildtones, Alabaster Blue,  and The New Hampshire Gentlemen.  

Almost every seat was full this year at the Riff Off and the audiences’ cheering and enthusiasm towards each performance was palpable.  

“It’s been a really long time since we had Riff Offs because of COVID,” said Meaghan Corbett, president of Alpha Phi Omega. “We were really excited to get it running again and so were the acapella groups. Everyone was really enthused to participate.” 

The Riff Off was composed of four song categories including love songs, diva throwbacks, TikTok songs and spooky songs. The groups performed in each category, all with diverse song choices, sometimes highlighting one or a few soloists. Between each category, Improv Anonymous, the university’s Improv Comedy Troupe, would perform a spontaneous skit.  

The results of the evening saw The New Hampshire Gentlemen take first place in the love songs category, Alabaster Blue first in Diva Throw Backs, Off the Clef first in TikTok songs and the New Hampshire Notables first in spooky songs. The overall award was handed to Alabaster Blue. 

“We’re honored,” said junior Jimmy Fitzgibbons, a member of Alabaster Blue. “I’m very excited for more acapella concerts to come.” 

Senior, Addy Kennamer, member of the New Hampshire Notables, was the soloist for the group’s rendition of “Creep” by Billie Eilish, which they performed in the spooky songs category and won first place. 

“We haven’t been able to perform live in almost two years, so just to be able to prove to myself that I can get up there after two years and belt out a song and win an award just feels really great,” said Kennamer. “Especially because all the groups are so talented. It’s such stiff competition.”  

Corbett expressed that one of her favorite performances of the night was the New Hampshire Notables’ performance of Creep, especially Kennamer’s solo. “I had chills the whole time,” she said.  

According to Kennamer, the New Hampshire Notables are releasing an album next semester. “We have eight songs were doing. We’ve seriously been fundraising for it for three years because albums are so expensive,” she said. 

Kennamer added that they have been meeting for four hours every Thursday this semester to record the album. It takes the full four hours to record just one song. More information about the album, as it comes closer to its release next semester, can be found at the New Hampshire Notables Instagram page, @nhnotables.  

“The acapella group community here is fantastic,” said Fitzgibbons. “It really was wonderful to see everybody here tonight.”