Amanda Fennell, Staff Writer

What happens when a cluster of college students gather to sing a capella under the leadership of another student? In the words of “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen, the students “have a good time.” Such is the case for members of Immacapella, a student-run group at Immaculata University that performs songs a capella. Formed in autumn 2022 by Madi Grenier ’24, Immacapella has grown since its inception and likely will continue to do so.   

When asked why she started Immacapella, Grenier, who is pursuing a double major in psychology and music therapy, writes, “I noticed that there was a lack of student driven ensemble performance, and wanted a group that could encourage students to share their passion for singing with their peers. Not only that but give students the chance to select repertoire, or arrange their own repertoire, and watch as those pieces developed throughout the learning process up to a performance level standard.” 

In order to officially create the ensemble, Grenier shared her idea with the music council, who allowed her to pick a time for Immacapella to meet. The a capella group wanted to participate in the university’s recital for small ensembles and received permission to do so after singing for Professor Gehring, who oversees the music department. 

Since its origin a year ago, Immacapella has expanded its repertoire and has begun to feature music arranged by students. Compared to two songs in the first recital and three songs in the following one, four songs from Immacapella are in store for the audience at the upcoming recital, which will take place on the evening of Tuesday, November 14. Included in this selection of songs is “Rain” by Ben Platt and arranged by Olivia Baker ‘25, a music therapy major, making it the first student-arranged song that Immacapella will perform. In addition to “Rain,” the ensemble will sing “Don’t Stop Me Now,” “Winter Walk,” and “Hlohonolofatsa” at their recital this semester, and at Carol Night on December 1, they will sing “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” and “Fum Fum Fantasy.” As Grenier shares, “This will be our first time performing for Carol Night, and we are very excited to see how our presence on campus continues to grow!”

Sheet music of songs Immacapella will perform this semester. Image sourced from: Amanda Fennell

The group evidently has grown, as several freshmen have joined, including Christine DeGuzman, who is majoring in music therapy, and Rachel Haverly, who is studying exercise science. Regarding her thoughts about Immacapella, DeGuzman comments, “I like how interactive it is with song-picking.” The music therapy major also participates in Immaculata’s Chorale, and when asked how Immacapella compares, she reflects, “You feel more involved.” Haverly demonstrates that the ensemble is open to all majors, expressing, “I think Immacapella is awesome because, as an exercise science major, I don’t really take choir; I don’t really have time in my school schedule for music classes, so it’s nice to still have somewhere to go to further that talent that’s maybe not a class but still lets me share my talent with other people.”

Immacapella meets from 4:00 to 5:00 on Mondays and 3:00 to 4:30 on Fridays, sometimes in a practice room in the Music Hall and sometimes in Memorial Hall. With only a year under its belt, the small ensemble has already become a bigger deal than it was when it started, and, with more endorsement, it likely will continue to establish its firm place among Immaculata’s other musical groups.