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A capella | Web Update

The Sirens and The Octaves perform their first joint concert

Published: February 19, 2014, 11:03 pm ET
Sugandh Gupta /The Collegian
The Octaves and the Sirens performed their first joint concert in Canon Memorial Chapel Feb. 16.
Online Managing Editor

The Octaves and the Sirens, two University of Richmond a cappella groups, performed a Valentine’s Day show in Canon Memorial Chapel Feb. 16.

This concert was the first time the two groups had ever collaborated on a concert in which both would spend equal time on stage, senior Octave Jackson Taylor said.

Taylor, the outgoing president for the Octaves, had been friends with the Sirens’ president, senior Megan Venable, since freshman year, and they had always joked about doing a joint concert, Taylor said.

Almost four years later, when Taylor heard the song “Beneath Your Beautiful” by Emilé Sandé on the radio, he thought he had found the perfect reason for the two groups to finally come together, he said.

Both the Sirens and the Octaves sang “Beneath Your Beautiful” as the concert’s finale, led by soloists Taylor and freshman Naomi Sand.

Being elected as a soloist brought the process full circle for Taylor, he said. He had discovered the song and felt he had a great appreciation for it, though he still considered it an honor to be chosen, he said.

Taylor appreciated singing with Sand because of her incredible talent for harmonizing and her bright personality, he said.

“Naomi is great to sing with, not only because she has a great voice, but because we both keep a fun attitude about singing,” Taylor said. “Neither of us is too proud to admit when there are places we’re messing up.”

Sand enjoyed working with Taylor as well, and said she had felt comfortable performing their duet after just one individual practice session together.

Their chemistry showed during the performance, which was applauded by the audience as well as their fellow group members.

“They were unbelievable,” senior Siren Hayden Stone said. “They really blended well, and all their hard work really showed. They went above and beyond.”

The concert began with the Sirens, who were dressed in varying shades of pink and red dresses for the romance-themed show. They sang four songs featuring soloists Stone, Sand, sophomore Hadleigh Glist, junior Rhiannon Bell and freshman Thais Scott.

Maintaining the theme of Valentine’s Day, the Octaves began their set by bringing on stage alumna Frances Sisson, Octave senior Jared Feinman’s girlfriend, and serenading her with a performance of “The More I See You.”

The Octaves continued to entertain with playfully suggestive dance moves and interactions with the crowd, especially during their medley of Justin Timberlake songs.

In his first solo of the night, Taylor drew laughs with his performance of the pop song “Come Clean” by Hilary Duff, which he sang and danced to with all the impassioned drama of a teenage girl. He made it through nearly the entire song without cracking a smile.

Overall, both groups considered the concert a success, despite having to reschedule because of snow.

“We love the Octaves,” Sand said. “Working with them was really fun, and allowed us to create a new sound that we don’t get to hear all the time with the blend of male and female voices.”nd that we don’t get to hear all the time with the blend of male and female voices.”

Contact staff writer Erin Flynn at

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