The UCLA a cappella group Scattertones ended its most recent effort on quite a high note.
On March 24, Scattertones won the semifinal round of the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella. The best collegiate co-ed a cappella groups from around the world participate annually in the prestigious competition, which ends with a final round of the top seven groups. This year’s final competition will be held in New York City on April 28.
With its recent success, Scattertones will hone its efforts toward making the strongest impression possible at the final point in the competition. This is an exciting development, according to Matthew Flesock, a fourth-year history and geography/environmental studies student and president of Scattertones.
“Right now, the group has an excitement level that we’ve never had before,” Flesock said “In the entire history of the group, this is an accomplishment that has never been (achieved), and it’s been attempted many, many times.”
A group at UCLA for 10 years, Scattertones has competed in the contest for the last five years. In the past, the group has never advanced past the semifinal round, making this year a landmark in Scattertones’ history. The group currently consists of 16 singers, all of whom performed in the set that propelled them to first place.
In the past four years, USC’s a cappella group, SoCal VoCals, has won the entire championship twice. This has made Scattertones’ victory among the other highly recognized competing teams especially sweet, according to Flesock.
“SoCal VoCals is the dominant powerhouse group in the nation, and so to place above them was a really cool moment for Scattertones,” he said.
India Carney, a first-year vocal performance student, said that despite the recent win, the group has not fallen into a restful mentality.
“We’re not taking this point for granted at all, especially since we haven’t gotten this far before. Our head is definitely in the game still, and we’ll just continue to focus for the New York competition,” Carney said.
The group will use its semifinal-winning set, which consists of three songs, at the finals as well.
According to Flesock, the three-part set tells a story. The first song, “C’mon Talk,” originally by Scandinavian singer Jarle Bernhoft, relays a sassy, dramatic exchange between two lovers going through a breakup.
Next, “No Woman, No Cry,” originally by Bob Marley, slows down the set before the upbeat final song, “End of Time,” from Beyonce’s latest album. The final song conveys a feeling of togetherness, featuring lyrics like “I will be the one to kiss you at night / I will love you till the end of time.”
“(The set tells the story) of a full cycle in a relationship,” Flesock said.
Flesock also said the arrangements use a high level of creativity and put a spin on the original versions of the songs.
Scattertones member Moses Sumney, a fourth-year English student and former Daily Bruin staffer, said the news of the success brought intense emotion to the group.
“The moment they announced we won the competition, it was crazy. We just turned and looked at each other; in a way we saw each other differently in that moment, like, “˜Wow, we did this together,’” Sumney said.