A singing group at the College of Charleston is taking its talent from campus to the community with a performance at the Music Farm this Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020. The AcaBelles are an all-female a capella group that recently won an Instagram contest giving them the opportunity to open at the Music Farm’s Leap Day show presented by 1770 Records and CofC’s Women in Music and Entertainment (WME) club.
Student Sabrina Imbrogno, a junior majoring in arts management and president of the AcaBelles, is excited about the opportunity winning the contest will give the group to showcase what it’s been working on this semester to the local community.
“Performing at the Music Farm is huge for the Acabelles. We have been stressing community engagement in our group for so long, and this is the first performance of this caliber that we have ever done,” Imbrogno says. “I am optimistic that this is just the beginning for us, and that these upcoming semesters will be transformative for our group and build a name for us in the Charleston community.”
WME first posted the contest on their Instagram, calling all female artists to submit an entry to perform at the organization’s Leap Day show. The AcaBelles submitted a video of the performing an arrangement of “Motivation” by Normani. After group members shared the video across social media, the AcaBelles’ entry received the most votes with more than 7,000 views and over 2,000 likes, helping them win the contest.
The AcaBelles’ lineup for the Leap Day show will feature a variety of pop songs and throwback hits. Fan-favorite arrangements being performed at the show will include “I Want You Back” by The Jackson 5, “Survivor” by Destiny’s Child and a medley of hits by indie rock band Florence and the Machine. The performance will also give audience members a sneak peak of new arrangements the AcaBelles will perform at the group’s upcoming spring concert in April.
The AcaBelles were originally founded by alumna Mollie Selmanoff ’16 in the spring of 2014 under the name Kol HaCougarim. Today, the AcaBelles are a close knit group made up of talented women from all classes and majors.
The group is always looking to recruit new members or what they like to call “Baby Belles.” Auditions to join one of the three a capella groups on campus are held at the beginning of each semester. Students with an interest in music, whether that be singing, arranging or beatboxing, can prepare the verse and chorus of a song to sing at the audition.
Being a part of any of the a capella groups on campus is a great opportunity for students to gain musical experience as well as meet others who share similar passions. Bailey Borreson, a senior majoring in anthropology at the College, has been a part of the AcaBelles since her freshman year and isn’t looking forward to leaving the musical family she has found since joining the group.
“Joining the AcaBelles was one of the best decisions I have ever made,” Borreson says. “It has given me an outlet to express my love of music, and I have gained lifelong friends who are more like sisters in the process. I don’t know what I’m going to do without them next year.”
Students will have multiple opportunities to watch the AcaBelles perform live this semester. The Leap Day show at the Music Farm, located at 32 Ann St. in downtown Charleston, starts at 7 p.m. and doors open at 6:30 p.m. Other artists performing at the concert include Tennis Courts, Daddy’s Beemer and Sylloett. Tickets are $10 online or $12 at the door.
The AcaBelles annual Spring Concert will take place on Apr. 19, 2020, in the Simmons Recital Hall. Students can stay up-to-date regarding auditions and performances by following the AcaBelles on Instagram at @cofcacabelles.
Priscilla Vanartsdalen is a freshman double majoring in English and communication. She is a writer and the social media director on campus for the online magazine for collegiates, ‘Her Campus.’