By Ruby Siefken

For The Diamondback

DaCadence, an all-gender a cappella group at the University of Maryland, performed for a live audience Saturday for the first time since its national-level performance in the spring.

The group debuted six songs from their new album Temptation live for an audience of about 250 community members. In addition to DaCadence, this university’s Anokha and George Mason University’s MSN, two other premier all-gender a capella groups, also performed at the concert.

“It’s an interesting experience for the audience who has been listening to our album to hear a slightly different or vamped up version of it,” Tania Ghandour, the group’s music director, said.

Ghandour, a senior nutritional science major, and Nicholas Orellana, a first year graduate student studying marketing who is the group’s public relations chair, said they were most excited to perform an arrangement of “Snow Angel” by Reneé Rapp.

The concert was DaCadence’s first live appearance since the group performed at an international a cappella championship in New York City in the spring.

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The championship performance came after the group won their title as 2023 champions for the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella’s mid-Atlantic division. DaCadence also won first place in the competition’s semifinal round.

The ICCA is the premiere tournament for student a cappella groups.

Senior studio art and marketing major Christina Williams, DaCadence’s president, said performing at the international championships was “really neat.”

“It was just absolutely insane getting to hear these teams from different places with all these different sounds,” Williams said.

According to Williams, the group practices twice a week for two to three hours, but rehearsals pick up before concerts and around competition season.

This year, DaCadence made it farther in the competition than ever before, and preparation was much more intense than in previous years, members said.

“I just feel like the group grew so much through that experience, and also as a family,” Orellana said.

Orellana said while there was a lot of pressure in the competition process, it helped the group “grow and evolve as musicians.”

DaCadence will return to the international tournament for the 2024 season.

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According to Ghandour, one of the things that makes DaCadence unique is that none of the members are music majors.

For Williams, the group is also unique because of their close personal relationships.

“We’re a family that looks out for each other through our ups and downs,” Williams said. “When we’re winning first place, but also when we’re not.”

DaCadence has seen support from many university community members, including junior public policy Samantha Vogts, who attended Saturday’s concert to support a friend in the group.

“I thought it was really cool,” Vogts, who had not been to an a cappella show before, said. “It’s a different style of music, I’m not used to hearing it.”

The concert was a representation of the group’s growth this past year, Ghandour said.

“We’ve learned so much,” Ghandour said. “It’s more so just blossoming this time, and really trying to improve on our work from last year.”