By Laura Zaks
The PAC balloons, pens, pins and pamphlets greeted the students, faculty and townies that poured into Schwab Nov. 8, for the fourth annual A Cappella Sampler.
When the clock struck 7:30 p.m., the auditorium lights lowered and the opening video, announcing the event's inaugural theme, suddenly filled the screen.
As images of THON, football games and Old Main Lawn vigils flashed across the screen, so did moving words like, “We are all singers... Song is Engrained in Our University's Culture.” PAC wanted to drive home the idea that here at Penn State — in times of triumph, sadness, healing and faith — we sing. Through Song, We Are One. This power of song was demonstrated throughout the night.
The groups that brought passion, voice and harmonizing melodies to Schwab were Blue in the Face, FANAA, Savoir Faire, Shades of Blue, The Coda Conduct, None of the Above, The Singing Lions, The Pennharmonics and The Statesmen.
“The sampler is such an important event because all of the a cappella groups come together and share the same stage — something they don’t often get to do even though they share the same goals,” Marissa Works, president of PAC, said. “This is also such a special opportunity for the audience because they can see a sampling of all nine a cappella groups in one night.”
Works felt the theme of being unified through music is for the audience, too.
“This year, in adding the theme, it makes the night all the more meaningful because it unifies the groups with the audience and shows that we truly are all in this together,” Works said, smiling. “There’s something powerful about coming together through song.”
And that is why, after all the A Cappella groups preformed and the show has come to a close, the entirety of Schwab Auditorium swayed together and sang the alma mater.
The room was swept in the emotion and lyrics as well as the love for an art that is all about bringing people together as one.
“I love A Cappella and singing so much that I can’t imagine my college career without it,” Julia Coleman, a member of Pennharmonics said. “Every week I get to be with my favorite people and create something amazing — I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”
Bryel Frasch, another Pennharmonic, agreed.
“I love the performing arts on campus and nights like this show me that singing is not just about my voice but about making experiences,” Frasch said. “I’m leaving college with a family and that is something special.”