Last night, the Claremont Shades hosted the 17th annual Southern California A Cappella Music Festival (SCAMFest) at Bridges Auditorium. Not only did it feature performances from eight 5-C A Cappella groups, but also from two groups from UCLA, “Bruin Harmony” and “Scattertones” as well as two from USC , “Reverse Osmosis” and “SoCal VoCals”.

The performers sang to a sold out Big Bridges filled with 5-C students, family members, faculty, and the whole of the Claremont Community.  I knew that it was going to be crowded but when I arrived to Bridges 20 minutes before the show was supposed to start, the line was longer than I could believe.  The line went all the way to 6th street and behind the SCC!  It was insane, but after the show, I could see why so many people wanted to attend.

Being able to sing A Cappella, in my opinion, is one of the greatest talents anyone could have.  Yes, it is one thing to be a good singer, but to be able to produce beautiful, harmonious music without any instruments at all, now that’s pure talent.  Naturally, I had very high expectations for the show, and the performances last night didn’t disappoint.

The groups from the 5-Cs all performed songs in a variety of genres.  While I loved them all, I’m always partial to hearing songs that I’m familiar with. Some of my favorites were “Payphone” by the After School Specials, “Everybody Talks” by Men’s Blue and White, and “Littletalks” by the hosts of the whole event, the Claremont Shades.

The groups from UCLA and USC all did spectacular jobs as well! I absolutely loved The SoCal VoCals’ performance.  They have performed with Josh Groban and Colbie Caillat among others, and I could see why!  Their rendition of “Set Fire to the Rain” literally gave me chills and had me sitting at the edge of my seat.  I also loved The Scattertones’ (from UCLA) performance of Paradise.  Anybody who can pull off a performance of a Coldplay song, in my book, has some serious talent.

One thing I paid particular attention to was the person, or people, making the underlying beats.  I know focus tends to be on the singers when it comes to musical performances, but I am always fascinated by the people who can make their voices and mouths sound like musical instruments.  So while, I of course paid attention to the whole performance, everytime a new group came on stage, I always looked for the person making the beats and spent a minute just watching them.  But for me, one of the beauties of A Cappella is how every individual’s role works together to make a single, cohesive, beautiful piece of music.

I had been looking forward to SCAMfest ever since last year, and I can’t wait for next year’s.  Awesome job to all of the performers, and a huge thanks to the Claremont Shades for hosting the event.  It was unbelievable!