Filharmonic draws audience into a cappella performance

The Filharmonic, an a cappella group hailing from Los Angeles, performed at Clarion University Feb. 28 as part of EFSN.

The group was formed just a little over a year ago and is made up of six male vocalists, all Filipino-American.  Their ages range from 21 to 27, and they’ve been featured on the NBC music competition, “The Sing-Off.”  Last year, they were a part of The Sing-Off Tour, and they will appear in this year’s sequel to the 2012 hit musical-comedy, “Pitch Perfect.”

Their musical talents include singing, beatboxing, and dancing, all of which they performed on the stage for their audience.

Joe Caigoy of a cappella group The Filharmonic gets the audience involved during the Feb. 28 performance.
Joe Caigoy of a cappella group The Filharmonic gets the audience involved during the Feb. 28 performance.

When the group first came on stage, it began singing right away to get the crowd pumped up. After their short introductory song, they brought all of the attention to an audience member.
“I was very surprised when they called me out.  Even though I was sitting in the front row, it was such a surprise that they called me out as soon as they came out,” said Jennifer Grenus, a junior music education major.  “When I got a picture with them, the lead vocalist remembered my name.”

The Filharmonic was all about crowd involvement, so without further adieu, they invited everyone to get out of their seats and stand in front of the stage.

The group sang their rendition of popular Maroon 5 song, “Animals,” which enticed the majority of the audience. With a cappella, the only music heard is that which is made by the voice, and the group sounded just like the instruments and sounds that can be heard in the original version of the song.  One member even made the high-pitched howling from the song, and that brought on a barrage of cheers and whistles.  Eventually, the group transitioned from “Animals” into another hit Maroon 5 song, “One More Night,” creating an unexpected mash-up.

They later brought six stools onto the stage and sat down, slowing down the night with the Sam Smith ballad, “Stay With Me.”  Hands of the crowd went up in the air, rocking back and forth to The Filharmonic’s version of Grammy-winning love song.

“I thought [this song] was phenomenal.  The combination of the melody and harmony was absolutely beautiful, and the entire song flowed so well,” said Natalie Bond, a senior speech-language pathology and audiology major.  “They are really good performers and know how to keep a crowd entertained.”

The group sang two Bruno Mars songs: “Treasure”—their signature song that was performed on The Sing-Off—and the new hit single, “Uptown Funk,” which was their final song of the night.  By the end, almost every member of the audience was out of their seats and in front of the stage dancing during the finale.

After the show was over, the group invited everyone to a meet-and-greet at which the audience could talk to the group’s members and have pictures taken with them.

“They were very nice and genuine guys, and they were nice enough to take multiple pictures with us, including a selfie and funny pictures,” said student Kalli Knochel.

“We love their choice of songs that they remade.  We would definitely go see them again and would recommend that everyone see them,” said Kristie McCool, a middle level education major.

“I’m glad Clarion got a group like The Filharmonic to perform.  I feel like Clarion needs more performances like this,” Grenus said.

The Filharmonic will stop in Ohio to perform at an a cappella festival early this month and will then travel back to California to perform at a number of venues, including Mount St. Mary’s University, performing arts centers and clubs.

They will most likely be happy to go back to California since one of the group members announced that Clarion is the coldest place ever.  Everyone can see these six talented performers in “Pitch Perfect 2,” which comes to theaters May 15.

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