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Sing It! Acapella, formerly known as Serenade, took place over three nights. On 2 and 3 August, the preliminary rounds or Acaformances were held to determine the top ten teams that would qualify for finals. That same Friday, 4 August, the Acafinals held in the Musaion and Aula marked the closing of student culture festivities for the year.

There is something to be said about the spectacle that is STUKU events. The build-up, the lights, the sound and the sea of crowds alert the wider student body that something is happening. The same cannot be said for Sing It! Acapella. Whether it be the cold August winds keeping everyone in bed or the less intense marketing of the event, it is safe to say that Acapella flew under people’s radar. The attendance for the preliminary rounds was underwhelming. However, the crowds did pick up for the finals as the various structures’ cheerleaders took their place in the audience. Despite less energy from the smaller crowds, each structure performed valiantly because they were not merely living
for the applause. The real driver behind every song bird was the return of the Acapella Nationals competition.

The top ten teams were Blossoms Delight, House Mags, Ukuthula, Erica, Khutso x Tower, Asterhof, Dregeana, Tirisano x Hayani, Madelief and Nathouse x Commerci x House Humanities. These finalists made their final performance plea to a panel of seven judges with varying singing, musical and performing backgrounds. Ultimately, only two would qualify to compete at nationals against universities across the country.

The night of finals was packed with every kind of singing performance imaginable. From Tiriyani’s soulful melodies as the ‘The Golden Ages’, to Asterhof’s soft and airy ‘Safari Game Drive’ and the theatrical powerhouse of Dregeana’s ‘Stuck in a musical’. The fan favourites of the competition, House Mags, displayed something hauntingly beautiful in their ‘Reject Toy Box’ performance and set the tone impeccably high for the acts to follow. Nicole van der Walt, STUKU chairperson 2022/23, told PDBY that the standard this year was incredibly high and that every structure has raised the bar with their incredible performances.

After some nail-biting deliberation from the judges and a special item by musician Jemma Catherine, the results were in. First place overall went to Erica, who had served babies and baddies in their harmonious ‘Mom’s Club’ performance. They were followed by the hot-in-pink and dripping in sass powerhouse Madelief coming in second. And in third, the dethroned champions, Blossoms Delight, with their bass boasting rendition of ‘A Late Night Talk Show’. It feels just in time for women’s month that the top two teams qualifying for nationals are both ladies’ residences. Talk about girl power!

Sing It! Acapella, despite feeling like an inner circle event, was a fantastic showcase of the vocal prowess of the students of the University of Pretoria. It surely will have students wishing they were in the room where it happened when the performances are uploaded to YouTube. For now, the winners set their eyes on nationals and STUKU basks in the success of a culturally robust 2023. STUKU’s Sing It! Acapella Officer, Lindokuhle Magudulela, said, “It has been a pleasure to bring such incredible culture events to the student body and to serve them in this way.” What a way to round off the culture core of UP.