Rockapellas take the spotlight in this year's Fall Fling

by Jay F. Krehbiel | 10/31/97 6:00am

Hours of practice have gone in to perfecting whistling, humming, "do-ing" and "da-ing," so expect a crowded Spaulding Auditorium for this year's Fall Fling. The concert is part of a series of three a capella concerts, hosted by one of Dartmouth's four permanent a capella groups on campus each term.

This year's Fling is hosted by the Rockapellas, one of the two all-female groups. The show was originally put on solely by the Aires, but that changed with the advent of co-education and the formation of new groups. The Rocks, as they are known on campus, were brought into the rotation to host one of the three concerts in 1994.

Besides the host, two other groups are invited to sing at each concert, one from on-campus and one from another institution. This year the Rocks will be joined the Amalgamates from Tufts University and Dartmouth's own Decibelles. Amherst, Yale, and Brown are among other schools that have performed in the past.

"We are very honored to be asked to sing by the Rocks. It's neat that they asked us so that both female groups are singing on the twenty-fifth anniversary of co-education," said Adrienne Wilson '99, business manager for the Decibelles. The Decibelles hosted last year's Winter Whingding and will be hosting this year's Spring Sing.

The Fling draws a much larger crowd than the smaller performances at fraternities and dorms. "Singing in Spaulding is musically exciting and very challenging. Of all concerts, this is the one where we want to be the best we can," said Decibelles President Lani Sipe '98, "it's nerve-racking."

This is an important concert for both groups, because both have a new image this year. Having lost numerous '97s, half of the Rocks are new. The Decibelles only took two people this year, deciding to have a much smaller group.

Each group will have about thirty minutes to perform a variety of songs. The songs may be different, but most of the music they sing will be popular music. What varies most from group to group is the "style of arranging and methods of learning," said Natalie Wood '98, the Rockapellas' musical director.

The Decibelles plan to sing songs by Texas, Paula Cole and Laura Brandigan. Songs by Sarah McLachlan, Luscious Jackson and Dave Matthews Band are among others that may be included in the Rockapellas repertoire.

In addition to their regular songs, the Rockapellas will also include in their program several "Freedom Songs," which are the trademark of their group. The Rocks like to include "Freedom Songs" in the hope of bringing up different social issues that may be discussed. "If we bring up a topic in the middle of the concert and someone leaves thinking about something they might not have thought of, then we've done our job," said Wood.

Be prepared to laugh as well as listen, because, as always, the show will not all be musical. There will be skits and interludes, and, although the group refused to comment on what was planned, they are certain to follow the tradition of humor. But the comedy should not take away from the performance, Wood said, "it's all about the singing."

The sold out performance of Fall Fling is tomorrow at 8 p.m. in Spaulding Auditorium.