By Kris Kelley, Staff Reporter
The Association for Campus Events (ACE) brought Canadian ‘Eh’ Capella performance group Eh440 to Nordica Auditorium at UMF’s campus recently. Between songs, the group explained that Eh440 is a reference to the 440 vibrations per second that corresponds to the musical note A, and they opted to change the “A” to “Eh” to make a joke of their Canadian background.
“Pretend you’re in Toronto and I’m Beyonce or something,” Eh440 member Stacy “Purple Lightning” Kay said, beginning the evening’s show that both included a cappella music and intense crowd participation. Laura Lacasse, ACE’s Director of Programming and a senior at UMF, said that Eh440’s energy and crowd involvement were big reasons for selecting them. “ACE likes to bring groups to campus that really interact with the students and keep their shows high-spirited and enjoyable,” said Lacasse. “When we saw the group at NACA [National Association for Campus Activities], we knew that UMF would love them.”
The group’s beatboxer, Luke Stapleton, called for an audience volunteer to help him with a beatboxing and kazoo solo he wanted to perform. Freshman Mollie Herman was brought to the stage and instructed to hold a kazoo beside Stapleton’s microphone. The two were head-bobbing throughout the whole solo and the crowd was practically in stitches. “The kazoo thing was kind of weird and super awesome,” said Samantha Zak, a freshman at UMF. “I’m not sure how he did both things at once, but it was definitely unique and everyone seemed to enjoy it.”
People lined up for autographs and photos immediately after the show drew to a close. After spending a while chatting away with Stapleton, Freshman Mickayla Wiley said, “He asked my roommate and I about our classes and school, and he had a real conversation with us.”
“Right after the show ended, he came over to thank us for coming,” said Wiley. “While we were talking, he even showed us pictures of his kids.”
During her rendition of “All About That Bass”, Purple Lighting pulled Mollie Herman, Aleah Salsbury, Meghan Snow, and Clark Hayden from the audience to dance with her onstage. The students were laughing, but were also excited to have been selected to strut their stuff with Purple Lightning. Throughout the show, Purple Lightning shared many asides and laughs with Freshman Ethan Cooper, who made a point to move from the back of the room to a spot closer to the stage.
At the conclusion of the show, she encouraged one of UMF’s own a capella groups, Clefnotes, to sing for Eh440. Promptly, the Clefnotes were blowing their pitch pipe and performing “No Scrubs”, which is new to their repertoire, and “Boondocks”. Eh440 was really excited and led the crowd in cheering for the Clefnotes and spent a while talking with them.
Madeline Boyes, the Chief Financial Officer of ACE and a sophomore at UMF, was excited about how the event went. “It can be hard for us to get a good turnout for a musical groups, but UMF really likes a capella music, so Eh440 made sense to bring here,” said Boyes. “We had a much better turnout than we could have imagined, which is great!” Lacasse agreed with Boyes, “Historically musical events aren’t always a hit, but Eh440 was really great and everyone here seemed to be really into them and they were awesome.”