On Saturday, October 12 at 8:00 p.m., the first-ever “Cockapella” was underway at Hendricks Chapel. Consisting of the two all-male a capella groups on campus – Otto Tunes and Orange Appeal – the showcase doubled as a fundraiser to raise money for testicular cancer research. Both groups demonstrated synchronism, personality, and raw talent. However, some numbers were better than others. Here’s a (subjective) rundown of the meh to the WOW from Cockapella.

10. Madness (Orange Appeal)

The introductory number for Orange Appeal, the song could have gone better. While an excellent choice for harmonizing, the song did nothing for the lead vocalist, and some members stumbled over the futuristic-style choreography. It was great, the others were just better.

9. Mirrors (Orange Appeal)

While everyone loves a good JT song, it was a bit of a safe choice. The lead vocalist sang the song to sound just like Justin, and while the harmonizing was on-point they could have switched it up to hold attention better.

8. Fall for You/I Need Your Love (Otto Tunes)

This arrangement was an excellent mashup, but the execution could have been better. The main vocalist possessed the high vocal range necessary for singing Secondhand Serenade, but was upstaged by the second singer with “I Need Your Love.” The two vocalists should have switched.

7. It’s Time (Otto Tunes)

The first song where I’m swayed by my obsession over the artists, Otto Tunes came close to doing Imagine Dragons justice. The only issue – and clearly this is becoming a personal thing – was the lead singer, who was strong but did not possesses the rawness in his voice that is necessary to emulate the great Dan Reynolds.  Clearly this was a group favorite as well, judging by the looseness of the rest of the singers and the pure elation they demonstrated when singing.

6. Nearest My God To Thee (Otto Tunes)

The tune that led to intermission, this was to be the best harmonizing piece of the night. It was powerful and also synchronized to a T, extremely well done. However, there were others that were more entertaining.

5. Stacey’s Mom (Otto Tunes)

Stacey’s Mom, for example. This was the opening song of the night and it definitely got the crowd comfortable and excited. Goofy dancing paired with effortlessly flawless singing made this number a clear favorite.

4. Who Knows, Who Cares (Otto Tunes)

Similar to “Nearest My God to Thee”, but better. The same lead vocalist sang both tunes, and was arguably the strongest lead of the night. However, more liveliness would have been appreciated – the harmonists looked bored.

3. Thrift Shop/And We Danced/Can’t Hold Us (Orange Appeal)


Another issue with favoritism, since vocally this could have been stronger. Best dance number of the night, though, with intense choreography (for male singers) and animated faces the whole way through. And that one who flawlessly rapped through “And We Danced” without a chuckle! And that skinny blond guy that sounds just like Wanz! Stellar!

2. Saw Her Standing There (Otto Tunes)

A cute track, flawlessly sang and accompanied by goofy dancing. The crowd’s clear favorite as well, with enthusiastic clapping and dancing. Also, this number scored second place because it’s the Beatles, and it was a relief to hear a true throwback. The Otto Tunes’ best number.

1.     Below My Feet (Orange Appeal)

Okay, this was not number one JUST because its Mumford and Sons (R.I.P.) and this is the best Mumford song. Orange Appeal performed this second, making it the third overall number performed. Seven numbers were performed after. And yet I remember this one clearly, from the pyramid formation to the strength of the lead vocalist (potentially Orange Appeal’s best) over the perfect accompaniment from the rest of the singers. They shrunk back at all the right points and powered forward in the others, showcasing the range of this group’s talent. Absolutely flawless.


Intermission ended with a balcony-to-balcony singoff between the two groups, just to further prove BOTH groups were spectacular. Standouts included Orange Appeal’s “Some Nights” and “Wrecking Ball” by Otto Tunes.

At the end of the night, the two groups united for a beautiful Alma Mater to close out. That’s when they sounded best – together.

P.S.: They also auctioned off dates with some of the members. See? Now you regret not going, don’t you?

WINNER: Testicular Cancer Research

Good going, boys!

Image via Otto Tunes/Facebook