A capella groups perform concerts

Kira Lerner

A cappella group Freshman Fifteen sings “I’m on a Boat” at its performance on a Spirit of Chicago cruise of
Lake Michigan on Friday night. Courtesy of Brittany Bookbinder.

If Northwestern a cappella groups were down on the economy this weekend, they sure didn’t show it. With a “Formal on the High C’s” and “A Night to Remember,” Freshman Fifteen, The Undertones and X-Factors spared no expense to entertain with style.Even though extravagant shows cost more money than a typical a cappella show, Undertones Producer Dena Propis said the economy should not get in the way of an entertaining show. “With the economic discomfort, it’s still important to make time to have fun,” the Weinberg sophomore said. “I don’t think people should cut out any kind of fun expenditure.”Freshman Fifteen and The Undertones took their audience on a Spirit of Chicago cruise on Lake Michigan on Friday night, and X-Factors brought their audience back to high school prom in Shanley Pavilion Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.On a boatThe part a cappella performance, part social event included singing, dancing, food and a chance for people from different student groups and communities to mingle, Propis said.”The great thing about Boat Show is that everyone can have a formal,” she said. “It was like a formal for the non-Greek crowd, which is kind of cool.”Freshman Fifteen has had a tradition of inviting another campus a cappella group to co-host boat shows in the past, but because of the high expenses associated with the event, it has not been possible to hold it every year, said RB Embleton, the group’s artistic director. The last boat show two years ago featured Freshman Fifteen and X-Factors.Tickets for the show cost $35 for one person, $30 each for two and $25 each for a group of 10 or more. Despite nearly 200 people in attendance, Embleton said the event did not make a profit. “It’s a lose-money kind of event,” he said. “We wanted to keep ticket prices low, and prices of other things like the boat and buses are high.” Nevertheless, Freshman Fifteen has not been greatly affected by the current economic recession, Embleton said.”I think that Northwestern doesn’t really feel the economy too much besides what people’s parents tell them,” he said. “We probably did suffer a little on ticket sales because people have less money to spend, but also we were benefiting because the boat would have cost more if the economy were better off.” Embleton said he thought the show was a success. “I know a lot of people were nervous about the high costs, but everyone’s fears were allayed when they had a great time on the boat,” Embleton said. Communication freshman Kimi Greer said the experience of watching the show with a big group of her friends in a unique atmosphere was worth the money. “We were entertained by two great a cappella groups, transported to Navy Pier, given food and were put on a boat for a few hours,” she said. “Both the groups are so talented and afterwards everyone just danced and hung out.”At the PromX-Factors has also apparently been unaffected by the economy, said the group’s music director, Will Selnick, who added that the group’s iTunes sales have increased recently.The group’s treasurer, Noah Siegel, said the goal of the show was not to raise money. “We don’t rely too much on funding,” the Communication junior said. “It’s more to showcase our talents and the hard work we put in throughout the course of the year.”Selnick said the prom theme provided an entertaining way to engage the audience.”It’s fun for the audience because everyone remembers their prom,” he said. “It’s a nice common thread we all have,” Selnick said.In addition to singing, X-Factors members performed skits and dressed in prom attire, Selnick said. The first act included skits about planning and getting ready for prom, and the second act took place at a prom. “Everyone is in character, and it’s kind of like a play, which we’ve never done before,” the Music senior said.Even with competing a cappella shows this weekend, both shows still had impressive turnouts, Siegel said.”There’s enough demand for a cappella on campus for people to attend all of the shows,” he said.

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