Yale University's undergraduate a cappella group Mixed Company thrilled an audience at Serra today, with its intricate harmony and diverse selection of music.
As part of its San Francisco winter tour, the 16-member group rocked the music room with its renditions of Fallen by Alicia Keys and How Deep is Your Love by the Bee Gees, among other songs.
In the shape of a semi-circle, known to a cappella singers as the shoe, and under the direction of Music Director and Singer Aissa Guindo, a Yale junior, the group waited for the pitch from Guindo's pitch pipe before beginning each song.
Snaps, claps, beat-boxing, background singing and more rounded out each performance, something that mandates more than five hours a week to practice, according to Guindo. She said it's not just the unique sounds that make the music.
"We make the shoe part bigger or smaller, depending on the song. We all sing in mixed formations, predominantly so we can hear what the others are singing,' Guindo said. "For many parts it's better to be closer to each other so we can hear how the sounds cross and for others we need more space for the song because it has bigger movement."
Guindo said that each member of the group brings in new songs to master. It takes about two to three rehearsals to perfect a song. Each performer in the group takes a turn at leading a song throughout their performances.
Serra and Tri-School music performers were treated to a 45-minute workshop before the performance.
Mixed Company is one of about 20 a cappella groups on the Yale campus. Each group has its own tour schedule and runs as an independent operation. This spring, Mixed Company plans to visit Bogota, Colombia as part of the music tour, Guindo said.