Rang A Cappella hosts talent show to celebrate diversity

‘The work they do is unlike anything I have ever seen’

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Rang A Cappella hosts talent show to celebrate diversity

(Katherine Mayo/ Daily Collegian)

(Katherine Mayo/ Daily Collegian)

(Katherine Mayo/ Daily Collegian)

(Katherine Mayo/ Daily Collegian)

By Lara Klein, Collegian Correspondent

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In an effort to support many of the cultural groups on campus, University of Massachusetts a cappella group Rang A Cappella held a talent show called “Celebrating Diversity” in the Honors College on Sunday evening.

The purpose of their performance was to make a united statement against hate directed toward minorities on campus in the wake of multiple racist incidents this past semester. Cultural groups were given a chance to perform and gain the recognition for the effort they put into their routines.

The evening was filled with many vocal and dance groups coming from a variety of cultures, including some from Korea and India. The room was packed with people, and snacks and drinks were also provided for everyone.

The first to perform was the host group Rang A Cappella. At the beginning of the performance, it was explained that “Rang” meant color in Hindi and that the group’s goal was to make “colorful sound” with their voices. They sang a medley of the song “Some Nights” by the band Fun. along  with a variety of other songs.

The next groups to perform were UMass’ own K-Pop Dance Club and the Indian Classical Arts Society. Dedicated to bringing individuals together who share an interest in K-pop and dance, the K-Pop Dance Club had four different dances with lyrics in Korean.

The Indian Classical Arts Society had two individuals perform, both dressed in traditional South Indian dance clothing featuring bells on their ankles. The bells helped keep rhythm and jingled as dancers moved.

“The amount of hours and training that it must take to do that leaves me absolutely speechless,” said Jenna Yong, a freshman kinesiology major. “I [could] never do the work they do.”

After the brief intermission, two members of Rang A Capella, Akanksha Sharma and Anusha Kulkarni,prepared for a last minute performance and harmonized to the song “Hallelujah.”

The UMass Gospel Choir also sang their warm up song “Marvelous” as well as a holiday medley including popular classic Christmas songs like “O Come, O Come Emmanuel,” “Angels We Have Heard On High” and “O Holy Night.”

“The harmonies at the end of the medley were angelic” said Amanda Geist, a freshman communication major.

That performance was then followed up by UMass Dhadak, a dance group that incorporates many different styles of dance including Bollywood, Bhangra, step, Bharatnatyam (classical Indian dance), lyrical, jazz and hip-hop.

The group aims to encourage a healthy and active lifestyle amongst kids by spreading cultural awareness. They have also competed at many different schools including Harvard University. UMass Dhadak performed a mashup of songs including “Money” by Cardi B.

“The work they do is unlike anything I have ever seen” said Kassidy Peters, a freshman communication disorders major.

Soco Dance team was the next to perform, singing a medley of different songs. Each individual member of the team wore a flag corresponding to their nationality which was either pinned or tied around their waist.

At the end of the night, Rang A Cappella closed out the event with a performance of the holiday classic “White Christmas.”

Lara Klein can be reached at [email protected]