In their first full year as an official group, Duhawkappella, a contemporary a cappella group now at Loras College, is making people smile: one birthday at a time.
“I only imagine things like this happening in the movies” said Junior, Mary Phillips about her ‘birthday-gram’ experience. “When they found me at work I was completely surprised. Duhawkappella has definitely put [their] God-given talents to use. They made me feel so special that I was smiling for the rest of the day.”
The “birthday-gram” that Mary received is just one example of Duhawkappella helping someone celebrate their birthday. The process starts with a friend of the birthday boy or girl telling Duhawkappella that there is a birthday coming up. Then, Duhawkappella works with the person that contacted them to find a time and place to meet the birthday person and make their day. If no time works for both parties, no worries. Duhawkappella will send a video.
“I love doing the ‘birthday-grams” said a co-founder of Duhawkappella, Dimitri Villanueva. “It brings me joy to know that our group can put a smile on someone’s face on their special day.”
But that is not the only way the group makes people smile. Utilizing a diverse group of students made up of student-athletes, various academic majors, members of campus ministry and many other organizations, Duhawkappella manages to find time to perform for the public and share their gifts with them. For members in the group, a cappella is their passion and something that they hope continues at Loras for years to come.
Already performing at the Presidential Alumni dinner, Campus Fest, and various other events, the group hopes to brighten their listeners’ days every time they sing. While the group is excited about the progress that they have made so far in the school year, the excitement for what the future holds is really what keeps the group going.
Having performances to look ahead to gives the group something to focus on and keeps them motivated during rehearsals.
Some of the more lofty goals that the group has include making a music video, releasing a recorded single, hosting a Duhawkappella concert, and the ultimate goal: representing Loras College at the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella. The ICCA is the a cappella competition that the movie “Pitch Perfect” is based off of. With the growing popularity of singing a cappella, it has become increasingly hard to be accepted into the competition. This hasn’t fazed the new Loras group, who have taken the mindset of shooting for the moon and running with whatever opportunities come their way.
To find out more about this group, email firstname.lastname@example.org, visit their Facebook page at Duhawkappella, or follow them on Twitter @Duhawkappella. To hear the group sing, visit their YouTube channel Duhawkappella, have them sing a ‘birthday-gram’ or catch them live at the Family Weekend brunch on Oct. 25.