During the three nights of prelims, residences performed with great enthusiasm while showcasing their different approaches to UP A Capella. Some residences sought to educate the audience with serious themes, while others opted for light-hearted themes that would charm and entertain. All in all, the performances varied in song choice and the execution thereof. On Thursday evening 10 August, the ladies’ semi-finals took place, followed by the men on Friday 11 August.
On the Saturday evening the venues were packed with spectators buzzing with anticipation for the UP A Capella finals. Nerina kicked things off with their theme Motown Records 2k17. Their funky outfits and soulful renditions of popular songs made for an entertaining performance. They placed third for the ladies. Boekenhout performed next. They approached their serious theme, Hope in the Flats, with immense dedication and maturity. Although their range might have lacked variety, the raw power of their vocals led them to tie at third place with Kiaat.
Vividus Ladies followed with a lively execution of their theme, Caravan Park. They won best prescribed song, which for the ladies was Ellie Goulding’s ‘Still Falling for You’, and came second. Before a quick intermission, Kiaat impressed with their satire and wit. Their impressive vocals elevated the unified performance of their theme South Africa’s Political Zoology. Erika blew the audience away with their sensational solo vocalists and flawless harmonising. They used their theme, The Living Statue, to subtly inject social commentary on individualism. As well as placing first for the ladies, they also won the new award for best multi-culturism.
Olympus was a definite highlight of the week with their theme, Death of a Bachelor. Their commanding stage presence and the general excellence of their performance, resulted in them walking away with best own composition and best prescribed song for the men. The men’s prescribed song was “Come On Eileen” by Dexys Midnight Runners. They placed first for the male residences and were named the overall winners of UP Acapella 2017. The gracious ladies of Madelief were next with the theme Herstory. In spite of their vocals falling a little flat at times, their performance was redeemed by their poise and finesse. They won best own composition for the ladies. The evening’s last performance was given by Vividus Men using the theme, Mzanzi Driving School. The amusing performance was concluded with a stunning rendition of “My African Dream”. They also won the award for best multi-culturism and placed second for the men.
Regardless of the uncertainty that surrounded UP A Capella this year, the event was still a thriving success. It was clear that the residences thoroughly enjoyed themselves and the jubilant response to the results emphasised the pride students still feel for their residences.
Photo: Stefan Stander