A ca-believe ASU's four a cappella groups will blow you away with their voices

The music industry is a constant roar of events and news of who is releasing what albums. Yet it is important to take a step back and look at the local music here on campus. From attending national competitions to growing each year, these four a cappella groups give our school something to be inspired by.

The Pitchforks

The only all-girl a cappella group on campus has been around for 22 years. This year's Pitchforks squad consists of 16 women. The group arranges and performs all of its own music. They cover a broad range of genres from classic rock to pop to jazz.

Arianna Torman is a Tourism and Development Management junior as well as the Pitchforks' president.

"Two years ago the Pitchforks made it to semifinals in Los Angeles for the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella,” Torman said. “We also released an EP spring of 2014 called 'Hell in Heels' on iTunes."

Torman said she doesn't really think the four a cappella groups are even rivals.

"We all genuinely support each other, and have a really close friendship between the four groups," she said. "Even during competition season we help improve each other's set lists, and sing for each other often."

TEMPEtations

The 18-person co-ed group received several awards from competing in the ICCA. It is the most well-known collegiate competition where many groups from the United States, Canada and the U.K. compete. Last year the group received the "Best Vocal Percussion" during the competition's quarterfinals. They placed third and received "Best Arrangement" the previous year. 

Jennie Rhiner, vice president of TEMPEtations and a music theatre performance junior, said the groups genuinely love singing with each other.

"One thing that makes us different from other groups on campus is that we like to explore new things," Rhiner said. "We like to push ourselves and dabble in new musical genres, whether that means learning songs in different languages or singing musical styles outside the traditional a cappella sound. We also like to take our music seriously without taking ourselves too seriously."

Priority Male

It all started in 2009 when four ASU students decided they needed to give the University's a cappella scene an all-male student group. Since then, Priority Male has grown and now has 14 members.

Priority Male is the 2011 ASU Hall of Fame Entertainer of the Year and Champion of the Arizona ICCA Quarterfinals in 2013. 

The group has produced two albums, which can be found on iTunes.

Felix Herbst, violin performance and molecular bioscience sophomore, is a proud member of Priority Male. He said the group has been welcomed across the Valley.

"Priority Male does a lot of very large-scale events," Herbst said. "We consistently have the biggest turnout for concerts and such out of the ASU groups, as well as having the most professionally produced albums. A few years back we made semifinals for ICCA, and one of our songs was chosen for the Best of College A Cappella album."

The Devil Clefs

The newest of the a cappella bunch is a co-ed group made up of 16 singers and a music director, which started during spring 2015 semester. 

Music digital culture sophomore Nik Santiago said The Devil Clefs are new but have grown in numbers and experience. 

"Just the fact that this group exists is an accomplishment in itself,” Santiago said. “It takes a lot more than just a couple of undergrads getting together to make this whole thing work. Beyond that, we've had the opportunity to attend Arizona A Capella Festival and we plan to attend our first international competition, International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella, later this school year.”

While, movies like "Pitch Perfect" have made a cappella famous for their unusual antics and intense rivalries, the ASU groups prove that there is a bond between each. They have created a close-nit community on ASU campus for singers and music lovers alike.

Related Links:

Why Priority Male is Aca-Awesome

ASU takes first at a cappella competition


Reach the reporter at ryan.santistevan@asu.edu or follow @ryanerica18 on Twitter.

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