Chapel Hill has always had a special sound.
A cappella groups welcome students at Sunset Serenade during the first week of classes. They sing in the Pit, by the Old Well and sometimes even at graduation.
Their sound got a little louder this year with the addition of UNC’s newest a cappella group, the Tarpeggios.
After a year of preparation, the co-ed vocal group had its first official performance this month.
“We’ve got something in it for everybody,” said Tarpeggio member James Kuo. “Something for every kind of audience.”
The group said it hopes to help diversify the saturated a cappella community on campus.
“A cappella groups bring a special energy to campus through a love for music,” said Chuck Porter, a member of the all-male a cappella ensemble the Achordants.
“They are like UNC sports — but more entertaining.”
The road to the first Tarpeggio concert started in September.
The popularity of campus a cappella groups — and the high amount of interest from would-be singers — convinced the Tarpeggio founders that another group was needed.
“In all honesty there are a ton of talented singers and not enough spots available,” said Tarpeggio president Lance Dunlap.
When Dunlap found students willing to arrange music, he found the beginnings of his group, he said.
“I had thought about trying to start an a cappella group before,” Dunlap said. “Finding students to arrange music was a rarity. This past year we found the perfect combination and it was an absolute blast.”
The Tarpeggios see their mission as larger than just offering more musical opportunities for interested students, Kuo said.
“In our charter we emphasize a commitment to a high level of music and diversity in every single way possible — from serious chorale music to viral internet concepts and tasteful radio arrangements,” he said.
After a fall of preparation and a spring semester of rehearsal, the group compiled 11 songs for its first performance on April 14.
The group aimed to sell 100 tickets for the concert. Quick sales saw the group nearly sell out for its performance in Carroll 111.
The Achordants performed at the concert, and Porter said that he was impressed with the new group.
“The Tarpeggios are very energetic and organized,” Porter said. “Everyone in the group is paying attention and ready.”
The group’s synergy and desire to present a wide range of music is foundational in its charter at UNC, Kuo said.
As they prepare for another year, the members are excited for more singing, they said.
“Everything about the group is so multifaceted, from the most serious song in one mode to a ‘Bed Intruder’ song in the next,” Kuo said.
Contact the Arts Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.