Long before Pitch Perfect, Glee, and The Sing-Off brought national attention to the wacky world of a cappella, this unique musical style had already amassed a dedicated fanbase at Mr. Jefferson’s University. In fact, given its variety of powerhouse groups and killer concerts, U.Va.’s a cappella scene arguably trumps what you might have seen on the big screen. With almost twenty a cappella ensembles on Grounds, this quirky musical style forms a major part of University life. Here’s what makes UVA a cappella so awesome. We have a lot of groups. There are all-male groups, all-female groups, co-ed groups, and groups of every musical genre. There are Christian groups, hip-hop groups, classical groups, and more. Whether you’re in the mood for an eighties power ballad or a religious hymn, UVa a cappella is bound to have a crew and a song that will satisfy your craving. Concerts tend to take place only on weekend nights during the evening, but Dorm Sings and studio albums provide an opportunity to listen to the a cappella ensemble of your choosing whenever you want. The voices are real. Sure, all the songs in Pitch Perfect sounded great, but how much of that was auto-tuned? When you see the Virginia Gentlemen or Hoos in Treble in concert, you know the talent is real, and no digital polishing is involved. Moreover, attending a cappella shows in person allows for a much more intimate experience than watching a cluster of A-list actors perform on the silver screen. They’re kinda famous. Most of UVa’s a cappella groups travel far and wide to perform, and their efforts have not gone unnoticed. AVP, HIT, the Virginia Gentlemen, the Silhooettes, and the Virginia Belles all scored songs on this year’s prestigious Voices Only album, and other groups have earned cameo spots in major motion pictures and television programs. There are so many concerts. The second half of each semester plays host to a cappella season, when concerts occur virtually every weekend. The shows are a blast, and they often take place at swanky venues like Old Cabell Hall and the Paramount Theater downtown. The shows are always fun to watch. Whether you like watching the Academical Village People incorporate fun skits into their concerts or the Virginia Belles belt out crazy showstoppers, you will always have a great time. You’ll probably be able to sing along. Like Pitch Perfect and Glee, UVA’s groups choose popular songs that you will either know or want to know. Shows in the past have included songs like “Too Close,” “As Long As You Love Me,” and “I’ll Be.” The puns are endless. Hoo can think of the most ways to incorporate “hoo” in an a cappella group title? With the Hullabahoos, Sil’hooettes, Hoos in Treble, CHoosE, and more, we sure can. If you’re not yet convinced, come to Rotunda Sing on Wednesday the 28th to see all of the groups perform a few songs. Rotunda sing offers a terrific opportunity for First Years to meet new people, for returning upperclassmen to reunite with their friends, and for the whole university to watch an awesome show. Additionally, for those who crave even more involvement in this thriving scene, auditions for most groups will be held throughout the first week of classes.