DoubleTake takes competition on the road

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March 28, 2008

4:00 AM

Nearly a dozen a cappella groups reside at the College. Only three are co-ed. Of the three, only DoubleTake goes beyond campus performances by participating in an international competition.

p. The group competes annually in the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella and will participate tomorrow in the semifinals at Wake Forest University.

p. “We place[d] second at our regional quarterfinal, which we hosted [at the College], which means that we move on to the regional semifinal like we did last year,” Historian Audrey Suarez ’09 said. “Our current director, Britt Bonney ’08, won the award for Outstanding Arrangement for her arrangement of ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ this year — we’re very proud of her, she’s a great arranger and deserves to be recognized.”

p. In addition to performing “Bridge Over Troubled Water” for this year’s competition, DoubleTake will also perform “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?” from the musical “New Americana” and Justin Timberlake’s “What Goes Around…/…Comes Around.”

p. “We have 12 minutes to perform, so most groups typically do about three songs,” Social Chair Ashley Kempsell ’08 said.
While many of the College’s a cappella groups only perform vocals, DoubleTake also incorporates choreography into their routines, a component they have to consider when planning their 12-minute ensemble.

p. “We’re not exactly Show Choir, but we do add dancing to a lot of our songs,” Kempsell said. “It’s a big part of our competition, but not all songs call for it. It just adds something to the performance. It’s fun for the audience and fun for us too.”
However, the singing is still the main focus of the competition, and participants are initially chosen without any consideration of physical performance.

p. “After submitting recordings of your group to a preliminary round, groups are selected to compete in one of several regional quarterfinals in their area,” Suarez said. “The first and second place groups from each quarterfinal move on to their regional semifinal, and the first place group from that moves on to compete at finals.”

p. The semifinal winners from each of the seven regions will compete at New York City’s Lincoln Center April 19.

p. “In past years, we have had remarkable success, moving up to the regional finals for the entire South,” Assistant Business Manager Barrett Armbruster ’00 said. “About seven years ago, DoubleTake made it all the way to Nationals.”

p. Although they have never won the championship, Kempsell said that their region is notoriously competitive and extends from Florida to Maryland. To her, even coming in fourth is a significant achievement.

p. While the group’s current focus is this weekend’s competition, they also perform for a variety of audiences throughout the year, including charity events and Wren Ten.

p. “Generally, we have scheduled performances a couple of times a month,” Kempsell said. “We have a big Homecoming concert and Christmas concert. We also do performances for charities and campus organizations who ask us.”

p. According to Suarez, the group also goes on a tour every fall break to venues along the East Coast. They occasionally perform at other universities with groups they have befriended. For their wide array of performance venues, they arrange and choreograph all of their music. This technique, according to the members, really adds to the group dynamic.

p. “We all come from very different backgrounds,” Kempsell said. “Different people have different levels of musical and performance experience, but everybody loves music and loves what we do.”
Other than the regional final this weekend, DoubleTake will perform their Wren Ten for the semester April 9 and will host their final concert April 19 at 1 p.m. in the Wren Building’s Great Hall.

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