Ramifications belt out alongside nation’s best voices
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On Saturday night, Suffolk University’s a cappella group known as the Ramifications took center stage at the Berklee Performance Hall to unleash a moving set worthy of applause. As the second act out of eight to perform, they had the chance to define the beginning of the competition and give the audience a taste of what they had to offer.
The group ended up placing fourth but they were up against stiff competition from other Boston schools such as Northeastern and Harvard. But even with fourth place, they were in a strong enough position to qualify to perform, as some groups were cut in auditions for the competition. Moreover, only first and second place groups were able to move on to semifinals.
This wouldn’t be the first time the Ramifications qualified to perform at the International Championship of Collegiate A cappella (ICCA) Quarter-final and it’s possible for them to compete again if they continue their hard work.
“It was very cool to prepare for the ICCA’s and have the goal to become cohesive as a group,” said junior Connor Milligan. “It was cool seeing the hard work other groups put in just like we did.”
The group performed four years ago and were presenting themselves again after building up their group due to many seniors who graduated and finally being in a position to compete again. According to Kristy Fitzpatrick, a sophomore in the Ramifications, the group worked tirelessly for three weeks to perfect their three numbers as well as choreography and with what little time they had to create their set, they delivered an inspiring performance.
The Ramifications started off with “Light Me Up,” with Suffolk senior and soloist Ammi Hosur who took center stage to start the group off with strong vocals that left the audience speechless.
After that performance, it might’ve been necessary to take a light to calm down after the excitement.
“We were all super nervous because a lot of us had never actually performed for ICCA’s but I think we really put our hearts into the music and really made something beautiful,” said sophomore Jenna Locke. “It was a wild experience but a great one at that.”
When Hosur performed, she seemed to be giving it her all with poised movements and breathless transitions. There was a smooth blend within her vocal range and the group enhanced her solo by keeping their instrumental lower than her vocals. Her diction was clearer than the group before her which helped the audience connect to the song and emotion accompanied with it.
“The ICCA’s were such a great experience,” said Hosur about the group’s performance. “I’m so proud of all of the members and how hard they’ve worked.”
Furthering their set, the group seamlessly transitioned into their next song, “G-Train,” which was a duet between sophomore Kane Harper and senior Xhulia Kanani. The feelings from “Light Me Up” to “G-Train” contrasted each other well and left one questioning how the group would end their performance since they already portrayed two very different sets.
The Ramifications were very diverse in how they chose which songs and in what order they flowed. A duet in between two solos perfectly portrayed the abilities of many of the members including Harper who was one of the few men within the group.
The sensitive emotions from “Light Me Up” led to the sexy excitement of “G-Train” that left the audience wanting more from the duet as faces eagerly watched the performance. The choreography that accompanied the song helped one better visualize the tension between Harper and Kanani. The only downfall of the performance was that Harper’s mic left his voice lower than the instrumentals, making it hard to hear the lyrics.
But even with a minor set back, the sexy tone from “G-Train” enhanced the dynamics of “Alive,” sung by soloist Mel Blake, a sophomore at Suffolk. The rises and falls of her notes were synced well with her body as she would occasionally lower herself to the stage in her high heels, eliciting a powerful display of the range in which she was singing.
“It was a really great experience,” said senior Lyndsay Bianco. “It brought us all so much closer together and we were really happy with the outcome of our set.”
Where credit is due, the instrumentals provided by the group’s vocalists were the heart of the performance as they supported the soloists and the duet monumentally. The Ramifications would not have had as strong of a performance without the help of the entire group and the certain tones and sounds that left space for more.
What there didn’t need to be more of was the outpouring of support from others in the audience that cheered and congratulated The Ramifications before and after their act, which showed the large fan base they possess that support them.
The group should be proud of their performance and with so many others proud of them, fourth place was an accomplishment to say the least. Although only first and second placing groups were able to move on to the semifinals, The Ramifications left a lasting impression on their supports and others in the audience.
“Win or lose we feel like we accomplished something awesome,” said Bianco.
Until next time, Rams.