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RFA hosts Collegiate A Cappella Invitational

Posted 2/3/23

Rome Free Academy’s Rhapsody Show Choir will be hosting their Collegiate A Cappella Invitational at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4 in the RFA Auditorium, 95 Dart Circle.

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RFA hosts Collegiate A Cappella Invitational


ROME — Rome Free Academy’s Rhapsody Show Choir will be hosting their Collegiate A Cappella Invitational at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4 in the RFA Auditorium, 95 Dart Circle.

Five college groups will be performing, along with RFA’s show choir Rhapsody and a special guest appearance from the Whitesboro High School Chamber Choir. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the door or in advance at the Jervis Public Library or from members of Rhapsody.

The five college groups coming to participate and compete are the Skidmore Bandersnatchers, Duly Noted from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Stay Tuned from SUNY Potsdam, and two groups from Syracuse University, the Mandarins and Otto Tunes. Most of these groups have appeared in previous Collegiate Invitationals at RFA.

Two of the college groups feature recent RFA alumni. Ethan Vernold of the class of 2021 is a member of SU’s Otto Tunes and Giovanna Sudol of the class of 2020 is a member of Stay Tuned. Both Vernold and Sudol were members of Rhapsody, Select Choir and many other musical ensembles at RFA.

Adding another layer to the RFA music legacy, Stay Tuned was actually founded by two members of the RFA Class of 2011 - Tiffany Smalls and Emmy Eichhorn. Other RFA alumni who have performed with Stay Tuned include Aaron Hernandez from the class of 2013 and Kevin Utter from the class of 2014. Stay Tuned also has the distinction of being one of the groups to perform at RFA’s very first Collegiate Invitational in 2014.

The Skidmore Bandersnatchers are Skidmore’s best, oldest and only all-male a cappella group, and an entirely student-run organization. Otto Tunes and the Mandarins both come from Syracuse University, and they make for a nice pairing – Otto Tunes are all male, and the Mandarins are all female.

The Whitesboro Chamber Choir had planned to participate in the Central New York Show Choir Festival two weeks ago, but weren’t able to come due to a district snow day. The Whitesboro “Bluebirds” Chamber Choir is under the direction of Sarah DePalma.

Rome Free Academy Rhapsody was founded by Jake Meiss in 2010. Rhapsody has become a tradition at RFA, performing locally as well as up and down the East Coast and Canada. Rhapsody will be performing mash-ups - combinations of songs with similar themes.

There are 34 vocalists in Rhapsody this year, including Teddy Beeman, Alex Brown, Liam Butler, Wyatt Conley, Jake Cosentino, Noah Dailey, Kaz Evans, Evan Lewthwaite, Cameron Merritt, Dakota Morrison, Nolan Moore, Elijah Pomales, Enrique Rivera, Colyn Seeley, Chris Smalls, Jonathan Spaeth, Michaelanne Allen, Trinity Brindeau, Gwendolyn Caro, Lilianna Caro, Capricia Damiano, Alana DeJosie, Kyla Finneman, Janai Haden, Caitlyn Hampe, Sydney LaSalle, Robin Litts, Julianna Nasto, Isabella Posselt, Kaleigh Premo, Brooke Quinn, Grace Riolo, Amelia Sudol, and Karabrie Wiggins.

They are accompanied by instrumentalists Dennis van Hoesel on piano, Brandon Bright on drums, Jack Conley on trumpet, Sara Swistak on trombone, and alumnus Evan Griffith on saxophone.

Meiss is the music arranger and choreographer of Rhapsody, Gail Tucker is the costumer, and Kristen Meiss, Kaila Hoskins and Kerri Winkler are production managers.


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