The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Wednesday March 22nd

Loreleis place second in a cappella competition

UNC all-female a cappella group the Loreleis perfected its pitch Saturday during the International Championships of Collegiate A Cappella South region quarterfinals.

The Loreleis took second place at Duke University behind The Belmont University Beltones, and both groups will advance to the South region semifinals in Nashville, Tenn., on March 23.

Two other UNC groups, the Achordants and the Tar Heel Voices, participated in the quarterfinals and took third and fourth place, respectively.

The Loreleis’ president, senior Katherine McIlwain, credits the group’s vocal diversity and performance as the reasons it did so well.

“I think we focus a lot in rehearsal on precision and making sure we’re all really together as a group in our choreography,” she said.

“We also made sure we showed everyone that we loved what we were doing.”

McIlwain said the group practiced until its 12-minute set felt second nature, and then added choreography to its performance.

The three songs which composed the group’s set were “DNA” by Little Mix, “Too Close” by Alex Clare and “Give Me Love” by Ed Sheeran.

Senior Mindy Roth won an Outstanding Arrangement award for her arrangement of “DNA.”

“I was shocked and really honored, and my face was probably completely ridiculous-looking,” Roth said. “I left stage feeling we really did our best.”

Roth said all of the competitors performed their best, and McIlwain attributed this attitude to recent shows and movies that have increased appreciation for a cappella.

“The last time I competed was two years ago, and with a cappella becoming more popular because of ‘Glee’ and ‘Pitch Perfect,’ the competition was so much different than it’s been in the past,” McIlwain said.

“I didn’t see a single group that wasn’t totally prepared.”

McIlwain said she was also excited that all three UNC groups placed and said they all did phenomenally.

Kiersten Paul, a senior and president of the Tar Heel Voices, said the group decided to bring power to the quarterfinals, with all of its current members competing for the first time.

“We have some really powerhouse songs and songs that are a little bit slower to break up the set,” Paul said.

“The three main things we focused on were diversity of set, strong soloists, and interesting and intricate choreography.”

Paul said the group vocals and the soloists’ performances were great, but the group needs improvement in choreography — specifically in its cohesion and intricacy.

She said all the members who aren’t graduating plan to compete again in the international championships next year.

For now, McIlwain said the Loreleis will be training for the higher level of competition it will meet at the semifinals. She said the group isn’t sure whether it will change the set list.

“The competition will be even tougher this time, so we have to add a lot of dynamics to our music,” she said.

“We want everything we do to look really precise on stage.”

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