Introducing the 9 A Cappella Groups of Binghamton University
Little-known fact: There are a total of nine a cappella groups at Binghamton University! Wow, who knew impersonating instruments was so popular? As a member of one of those nine groups, I can tell you with authority that each has something totally different and exciting to offer! Read on for a breakdown of the Binghamton a cappella community and what makes each individual group stand out.
A Cappella on Campus
Though movies like Pitch Perfect and the growing popularity of professional a cappella groups like Pentatonix have added to the recent aca-buzz, Binghamton students have been singing sans accompaniment since 1983. Talk about being ahead of the curve!
A cappella is just one of many ways in which Binghamton students get involved and express themselves. Binghamton‘s Student Association hosts the Dollar Show at the beginning of each semester: an a cappella showcase for the low price of one buck! The show features a short performance from each a cappella group, and the on-campus improv group Pappy Parker Players, and allows for perspective auditionees to get a taste for each group’s style.
It doesn’t end there, though! Throughout the semester, each group rehearses on a weekly basis in order to prepare for their own semester show, in which they perform their individual setlist of songs for the semester. Semester shows are an awesome opportunity, not only for each group to show off the songs they’ve been working hard to perfect, but also for students to experience an entertaining night full of live music, right here on campus!
So, let’s meet the groups!
The Binghamton Crosbys
Pictured performing at the Chabad Toy Drive
Genre: Anything under the sun, with a preference towards rock.
Who is this “Crosby”? The name comes from popular American actor and singer Bing Crosby, who not only had a catchy first name, but countless hits, including the holiday classic “White Christmas.”
As the oldest and only all-male a cappella group here at Binghamton University, The Crosbys have been a well-known presence on campus for quite some time! Known for their onstage antics and powerful songs, every performance is sure to be chock full of entertainment.
Pictured at their Fall 2016 semester show
Genre: Traditional and current Jewish music
Little-Known Fact: This group is award-winning! Kaskeset came in third place in the 2016 Kol Haolam National Jewish A Capella Competition.
Kaskeset is Binghamton’s only Jewish a cappella group! The group sings a majority of their songs in Hebrew, with a couple of American hits here and there. In 2010, Kaskeset became the first Jewish contemporary a cappella group in the world to advance to the semi-finals of the ICCAs (The International Collegiate A Cappella Competition). Pioneering and award-winning, this group sets a high standard!
The Rhythm Method
Pictured at The Caribbean Pageant Spring 2017
Genre: Songs you grew up with
Fun Fact: The group celebrated its 25th anniversary in spring 2018!
Rhythm Method’s setlist is constantly evolving, with music from the ‘80s, ‘90s and 2000s! Their performances are always a blast to watch, filled with fierce choreography and powerhouse soloists. Though, I’ll admit, I may be a bit biased, seeing as I myself am a proud member of RM! The group has recorded a total of eight albums, which are available on both Spotify and iTunes.
Genre: Classic Hits with a Modern Twist
Fun Fact: The Vibes tour around the tri-state area every winter, performing at venues such as The Bitter End, where classic artists such as Stevie Wonder, Neil Young and Bob Dylan have performed!
The Vibes are Binghamton’s only classics a capella group, taking some of your favorite songs from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, such as “Natural Woman” by Aretha Franklin, “Under Pressure” by Queen and David Bowie, and “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” by The Beatles and giving them a refreshed modern feel. They also perform some newer songs like “Unstoppable” by Sia and “My Boy” by Billie Eilish. They are soon releasing a new album on Spotify, so be on the lookout!
Updates: For Vibes updates, be sure to check them out on Instagram!
The Harpur Harpeggios (A.K.A. The Pegs)
Pictured above with President Harvey Stenger at the Senior Brunch
Genre: Anything from ‘60s classics to modern hits!
Fun Fact: They competed in the ICCAs in the spring 2017 semester, with a set which promoted a strong message of female empowerment.
The Harpur Harpeggios are Binghamton University’s first and only all-female a cappella group! Girl power! They’ve been doing awesome things since ‘83, including their recent album release on iTunes titled Awk-appella. Be sure to check it out!
Note to Self
Image from fall 2019
Genre: Anything they enjoy, with a focus on empowering and uplifting music
Fun fact: Note to Self went international for the first time in 2020, taking a tour from the New York City area all the way up to Montreal.
Note to Self are Binghamton’s first and only a cappella group with a specific focus on civic engagement. On campus and off, from soup kitchens to local community centers, they sing and serve throughout the semester, balancing a service mission with musical ambition. They released their debut EP, Tied to the Tracks, in August 2019 and competed in the ICCAs in spring 2020.
The Binghamtonics (A.K.A. The Tonics)
Pictured at their Fall 2016 semester show
Genre: Anything goes!
Little-Known Fact: Well-known Binghamton alumna singer/songwriter Ingrid Michaelson was once part of this esteemed group!
The Binghamtonics are Binghamton’s oldest co-ed group. Their arrangements take fun twists on current hits, with shows featuring music from Imagine Dragons to Kanye West! From their hilarious sketches to their beautifully blended backgrounds, there is something for everyone at a Tonics show.
The Binghamton Treblemakers (A.K.A. The Trebs)
Pictured at their pirate-themed Fall 2016 semester show
Genre: Alternative rock
What sets your group apart from other groups on campus? “We’re the only group that ever performs semi-naked (in our boxers)!”—Emma Klainberg ‘17, Business Manager
If you’re all about alternative rock, then you’re all about The Treblemakers! The Treblemakers sing alternative songs from the 2000s to now. My personal favorite Treblemakers’ song is “Stacey’s Mom,” because they always have so much fun performing it and it’s a blast to watch!
No Strings Attached (A.K.A. NSA)
Pictured above at their Spring 2015 semester show
What’s one of your favorite NSA memories? “One of my favorite memories was my first fall Dollar Show that I performed in my sophomore year. I was lucky enough to solo on “Superboy and the Invisible Girl,” from the Broadway show Next to Normal. That was the song that they performed right before I auditioned, and was what convinced me to audition for NSA, so I was so honored and floored to be lucky enough to sing it sophomore year!”- - Kate Butera ‘18, President
No Strings Attached is Binghamton’s premier musical theatre a cappella group! Despite the nickname, they have no known affiliation with any government organizations. Though the most recently founded group on campus, NSA has definitely been a positive addition to Binghamton’s a cappella community. Featuring music from The Little Mermaid, Wicked, and even Hamilton, their performances are a guaranteed good time.
Sofia Villela is a senior and native of Albany, N.Y., interning with the Office of Media and Public Relations. On campus, she takes part in women’s club soccer and The Rhythm Method a cappella group. Off campus, she takes part in competitive dance parties with her housemates and FaceTimes with her dog, Frida.
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