A full crowd was on their feet last Thursday night in Kresge when Chapter 6, a male a cappella group, finished their last song and waved to their adoring audience. The seven-member group, including their sound tech, was originally formed in Decatur, Ill. and has toured the country and performed in several venues from Arizona to Las Vegas.
They guys began with a spunky version of Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World” and then continued to sing a variety of songs and music styles. The men took turns singing the melodies while the others provided rhythm and vocal renditions of the instruments usually heard during their numbers. In all, the voices were very clear and blended extremely well together as they resonated through the auditorium.
In addition to the usual a cappella numbers, Chapter 6 branched out to sing versions of the rock ‘n’ roll hit “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen and the pop hit “Viva La Vida” by Coldplay. In each instance, the back up men sang instrumental parts while pretending to strum at the instruments they were mimicking, much to the audience’s excitement. Even without any outside meter, the men found their pitches and rhythms expertly and kept the show rolling.
The group also performed original compositions, including a Christian ballad about facing the rough spots in life and a more light-hearted ditty about donuts. The song about donuts was written as a love song to the original Krispy Kreme donuts after the group found that two of its members had never eaten a Krispy Kreme.
The group’s bass was given the solo in this song, as he had no other solos. However, he belted it out in a perfect falsetto while the audience laughed along to the kooky premise. Equipped with standard choreography, this number was definitely a crowd pleaser and a high point of the night.
The time for audience participation was another high point, as the group began a song from the original 1970s Sesame Street and challenged the audience to finish. Both contestants were able to recall the old melodies and won Chapter 6 merchandise. The group also sang a song from Sesame Street themselves, which consisted of counting to 12 and allowing the audience to shout specific numbers periodically throughout the piece. Sesame Street aficionados such as myself might have remembered that song from video shot of pinball machines and probably had the catchy tune stuck in their heads for the next several days.
Chapter 6 ended their show with an overture from The Wizard of Oz, recreating the movie as they went along, in six minutes. This is the group staple and audience favorite. After the show, the group sold CDs and merchandise to many new fans.