Joining the (glee) club

Voices in your Head hits the major leagues of college a capella, appearing on three national compilation CDs.


UChicago has been favored with a bunch of talented a capella groups—has your campus had a group open for President Obama?

One of those groups, Voices in Your Head, is experiencing a rareified moment in the sun (which I'm sure is especially nice in this wintry weather), featured on three major a capella compilations this year:

  • Sing 7, a free download for members of the Contemporary A Capella Society,
  • Best of College A Capella 2011, an upcoming CD release put out by Varsity Vocals, which runs the International Championship of A Cappella,
  • Voices Only 2010, a 38-track, two-disc album on which Voices in Your Head has been featured every year since 2008.

Not only that—"Boomerang," the Voices track on "Sing 7," is an original composition, which is a pretty special thing in a capella.

Only one other group in the country, On The Rocks of the University of Oregon, was featured on all three albums this year, and it had the benefit of being a YouTube phenomenon. Voices member Zach Denkensohn, '12, informed me that this trifecta has been accomplished only eight times since 2005.

Voices was already doing pretty well. The 15-member, co-ed group was featured on another compilation CD in 2008, this one put together by the acclaimed artist Ben Folds, who said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, "There’s a group from the University of Chicago called Voices in Your Head that sings “Magic” on the record, and to me they’re in a different league from the rest of the groups." Author Nick Hornby mentioned them in a New York Times piece. In 2009, they performed onstage with Ben Folds, and competed in the International Championship of A Capella

Voices is now angling to become a YouTube phenomenon in its own right. It will premiere a music video for "Resistance" (originally performed by Muse) at tonight's Fall Concert, which will be "Resistance/Thought Police/1984 themed," says Denkensohn. The video was filmed on campus, he said, and follows two Voices members the heads of a resistance group who are running away from...something. (Denkensohn wouldn't say what, so watch the video to find out—we'll post it when it's up). Tonight's concert, at 7 p.m. in Bond Chapel, also features the University of Michigan's Dicks and Janes.

Asher Klein, '11

December 3, 2010