Only a few listens to groups such as Straight No Chaser make it obvious there aren’t many forms of entertainment as purely endearing or unabashedly fun as a cappella. Even “Glee” has a certain charm to it, though the members of Preposterone say they “can do it without the auto-tune.”
San Diego State has a few of its own student a cappella groups, though Preposterone is the only entirely male one. The group was founded in the spring of last year by a group of musically minded students looking for an outlet for their talent, not to mention a good time.
What started as a group of five, organized by Musical Director Luke Ranieri, has doubled in size since the formation, and they are looking to expand. “Having more members means we can experiment with different styles,” Ranieri said. The group already covers everything from Irish drinking songs to grungy Southern rock to soul.
The group’s overwhelming favorite song to perform is the “Lonely Boy” arrangement, originally by The Black Keys. “It’s the most fun, everyone gets into it,” tenor and manager Matt Acevedo said. Ranieri agreed, though he added they do everything from pretty to melancholy as well. Crowd favorites include Saturday Night Live’s “Jizzed in my Pants” and The Flight of the Conchords’ “Leggy Blonde.”
The group is largely unanimous: they perform because they enjoy it. Beatboxer / baritone Zachary Hoffman said, “There is something amazing about feeding off each other in a pure format … getting 10 people to work together as a finely oiled machine in close quarters. There is an awesome energy to it.”
Hoffman allegedly imposed his audition on the gentlemen in Preposterone after his third audition for SDSU’s other a cappella group, The Sunset Clefs. He made the transition to beatboxing after watching performances by groups such as the Pentatonics. He said, “If they can do it, why can’t I?”
Hoffman’s thoughts were echoed by Ranieri, who thought something similar while watching an episode of “The Sing Off.” This was the idea that inspired him to form the group in the first place.
Though most of the members have musical backgrounds, not all of them were singers before joining. Other members have had extensive professional training. Baritone and choreographer Perry Lee has been choreographing professionally for years, as well as performing in several musical theater productions. Bass Kevin Roessler has an instrumental background but wanted to try something with his voice. Ranieri said “the human voice has more flexibility than an instrument. Standard bands have a more rigid structure.”
Acevedo, who is taking over as musical director next semester, has the goal of preparing the group to compete in the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella next year. The ICCA is a large tournament that pits groups against each other from around the U.S. and Europe
Preposterone sings from 2:30-3:30 p.m. every Wednesday outside Hepner Hall and Scripps Cottage. Videos of the group’s performances can be found at youtube.com/PreposteroneSDSU.