Every Block 4, Colorado College’s three a cappella groups — Room 46, The Back Row, and Ellement — present their winter concerts. For both group members and the audience, these concerts are often a highlight of the holiday season, with each group performing an eclectic mix of songs from different genres and time periods.
Inna Oh ’20 has been a member of Room 46, the college’s only co-ed singing group, since her sophomore year. “I discovered my singing when I went to the Island School during my junior year of high school,” said Oh. “I went on stage at our morning assembly and sang ‘Rivers and Roads’ by the Head and the Heart [and] people cried. I never considered myself a singer, even after I sang on stage in from of a few hundred people, until I joined Room 46 and started singing regularly.”
Each singing group has its own distinct personality and music choice. “I actually auditioned for Ellement initially, and didn’t know Room 46 existed until my Ellement audition when they asked if I was auditioning for Room 46 as well,” she said. “In the end, I just thought a co-ed a cappella group was a cool idea and it would be awesome to have a wide range of vocal parts to work with.”
Room 46’s winter concert was held on Dec. 7, featuring a wide range of songs, including “No Tears Left to Cry” by Ariana Grande, a “Honey Honey/Mamma Mia” mashup, “Love on the Brain” by Rihanna, and Oh’s song, “Tennessee Whiskey” by Chris Stapleton. In addition to the group’s diversity of voices, Room 46’s members also try to keep their song selection fresh and diverse.
“We pride ourselves on being a casual group where anyone can bring any song they like to rehearsal and we will sit around and figure it out,” said Oh. For her first Room 46 concert she performed “Colder Weather” by the Zac Brown Band, and at the spring concert she rapped “That’s What I Like” by Bruno Mars while wearing clout goggles. When asked about one of her favorite performance memories, she said, “Cade Thumann [’22] got a standing ovation for his performance of ‘Take Me to Church,’ which was awesome since it was his first concert at CC!”
Like many teams, clubs, and student organizations at CC, the members consider the other people in the group to be the main highlight. “I love the people in Room 46,” said Oh. “We always have a good time and often times have a hard time focusing because we’re having too much fun. But when we hunker down and work, we work hard and are very productive. I am so grateful and glad I joined the group, because we all agree that it forces us to meet people on campus we otherwise would never have gotten to know and love! I’ve had some of the best laughs with these kids and I couldn’t imagine my time at CC without them.”
For those looking for more a cappella joy this holiday season, Ellement, CC’s all-femme group, have their winter concert Friday, Dec. 14 at 7 p.m. in the Gates Common Room in Palmer Hall, and The Back Row, CC’s all-male identifying group, have their concert Saturday, Dec. 15 from 7–8 p.m. in the Kathryn Mohrman Theatre in Armstrong Hall.