Six Appeal showcasing a cappella, vocal band music on April 23 | Community

Six voices – that’s both all you’ll hear and not all you’ll hear if you attend the upcoming performance by Six Appeal this weekend.

Their voices not only provide the tenor, mezzo and bass to give new life to a variety of pop, funk, rhythm and blues, and jazz hits, but they are also a “vocal band,” using their voices to emulate piano, drums, guitar and other instruments. There is even a beatboxer in the group.

The a cappella sextet will close out the Verona area Performing Arts Series’ 2021-2022 season at 7:30 p.m. this Saturday, April 23.

The group formed in 2010 at Concordia College in Minnesota. Four of the original lineup still remain and in 2020 – the all-male group for a decade saw two members leave, who were replaced by two female members – helping them expand their repertoire of songs.

“We like to say we’re music that your dad likes to listen to,” member Andrew Berkowitz told the Press. Though, he was cagey about what songs the audience can expect, saying the group likes to surprise people. He did share that the group covers Prince and George Michael.

Six Appeal’s music can appeal to any generation or age, he said, whether someone recognizes the song or the melody or lyrics touch them in some way.

There is an ongoing image problem for a cappella groups that it’s just for college students, Berkowitz said – and for groups like Six Appeal, it’s an ongoing process to convince people to see it as more than just a hobby.

“A cappella can be considered such a novelty,” he said. “We want people to experience a song for the first time again in a cappella, even if they’ve heard it before. For people who are a cappella fans, I think they’ll be really impressed with what we do with the music we have chosen for the show. If they’re not fans of cappella, I think they’ll still go home with more respect for it.”

The group also does more than sing, incorporating some movement into the songs.

“We don’t just park and bark,” Berkowtiz said. “There’s some rocking, we move around.”

Though it’s been tough because the six members are spread across four different states – Minnesota, New York, Texas and Hawaii. They have to learn their parts on their own at home so they choose choreography they can easily all do once on stage together.

There is also a visual element to the show, with multimedia projections.

The group doesn’t only live all across the country but has performed across it, as well. The group has traveled to all 50 states and around 20 countries, Berkowitz said. Before the pandemic, they were doing 100 shows a year.

Despite the pandemic impacting the group finding a rhythm and semblance of normal when the two new members joined, it’s always been important for all six members to get along, Berkowitz said.

“We’re not just here to run a business, we enjoy each other’s company, we are friends, and I think that translates well to the stage,” he said. “I like to think we do a really good job of connecting with the audience, bridging the gap between us and making them feel like we’re all friends – making it feel kind of personal.”

The members of Six Appeal

Anita Shire

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