5 College A Cappella Performances that Rock

Guest Columns

Kate Willson is a former reporter and globetrotter who know writes full-time at collegecrunch.org. When she's not writing, you can usually find Kate wearing a pair of headphones or scribbling in a notebook. You can reach her by adding a comment!

For your entertainment and inspiration, please enjoy performances from these five groups who acheived great, fresh, fun performances in a cappella.

1. Carleton College in Northfield, Minn., has several a cappella groups on campus, the oldest of which is the all-male Carleton Singing Knights. They are most well-known for their cover of the Daft Punk song, "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" which garnered millions of YouTube views. Today their repertoire includes a variety of pop rock and indie hits, covering artists such as Bon Iver, Vampire Weekend and Fleet Foxes.

2. In a combination of guerilla marketing, self-promotion and shameless exhibition – the University of Oregon's all-male group, On the Rocks, became an Internet sensation in 2010 after Rick Rolling a subway car in NYC and performing Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" in a variety of street performances. The group made it to the semi-finals on The Sing Off.

3. The G-Men, otherwise known as the Gentlemen of University of Michigan merge classic a cappella arrangements with modern soul. The guys generally wear blue jersey and jeans, but you can catch a glimpse of them wearing suits and ties every now and then. My personal favorite is their Justin Timberlake "What Goes Around" performance.

4. Finally! A co-ed group. The New Dominions are from the University of Virginia. They offer a feast of classic a cappella, but they always seem to be trying something new. They've covered a variety of modern songs--Adele, Amy Winehouse, Lady Antebellum--ut their 2009 arrangement of Radiohead's "Fake Plastic Trees" is breathtaking. This is one group that proves you don't have to have millions of YouTube hits, you don’t have to be a superstar, to create something amazing and powerful.

5. Groove A Cappella is an all-girl group that hails from the all-female college of Smith College in Northampton, Mass. The group celebrated their 10th anniversary in 2011, making them relatively young, and possibly that much "groovier" than the competition. Even without costumes or chorography, these girls emit talent, energy and personality that is simply magnetic.

I know that some of these videos are a little dated, but the thing about singing groups, musical groups – and really any type of group – is that greatness can achieve timelessness within the right group dynamic. Each of these groups had (or still have) something incredibly special. Whether it was for a year, or a century, or a single night, they came together, not just to harmonize in voice, but in energy, purpose and vision. I hope you enjoyed these groups as much as I did!