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The Virginia Gentlemen step out in “Full Attire”

University a cappella group releases their classiest album yet

The Virginia Gentlemen announced the release of their newest studio album at their sold-out Family Weekend Concert.

As the University's oldest a cappella group, the ‘VGs’ have been performing for their peers and the Charlottesville community for more than 60 years. Noted for their powerful vocals and affinity for bow ties, the VGs have performed both across the nation — including at the White House — and internationally in Australia, China and parts of southeast Asia.

“Full Attire” is the group’s 20th studio album. It offers an impressive variety of tracks, with arrangements of upbeat, popular songs like “Mirrors,” as well as sweeter melodies such as “Comes and Goes (In Waves).” The CD features five different arrangers and 12 different soloists, showcasing the VGs’ variety of talent.

“'Full Attire' represents the exciting new direction The Virginia Gentlemen and a cappella music as a whole are going in,” said Virginia Gentleman President Rohan Deshpande, a third-year Engineering student. “Though we maintain a significantly widespread repertoire stretching from the 1950s to the modern day, we are proud to not just be modernizing our work but to be expanding into so many different genres as well.”

The first song on the album, “Problem,” sets the tone for the rest of the album, with soloist fourth-year College student Kevin Saucedo-Broach’s voice flowing over the dramatic range of the melody, supported by the clear, cohesive vocals of the other members.

The group's adaptation of Josh Groban’s “Brave” is another standout, with group harmonies intricately layered during the tune's bridge. The effect of the complex, driving rhythm and a noteworthy solo by Yohan Hong — a 2014 Engineering alumnus — will thrill fangirls everywhere.

The ensemble recently spent nearly 40 hours in the studio recording the album, Deshpande said.

“We are excited to present every single track, and we put the same energy into producing this album that we do into shaping this year’s performances,” he said.

Their dedication translates in the flawless execution of difficult arrangements, such as “Cry Me a River,” arranged by second-year College student Nathaniel Oberholtzer, Batten student Keith Wilson, and James Gammon, a 2004 College graduate.

But the true highlight of the album is the cover of Ed Sheeran's “Give Me Love,” performed with a heartbreaking solo by third-year College student Micah Iverson and a moving delivery from the rest of the group. The echoes of clapping and stomping during the bridge raise the track to an entirely new level of a cappella magic.

In “Full Attire,” the Virginia Gentlemen deliver track after track of pure musical skill. The bow tie-clad, impressively talented VGs have accomplished yet another victory, using only their voices and a deep love for music to win the hearts of their loyal audience. 

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