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UR's A Cappella Group Debuts New CD at Festival


Following in their footsteps, The Octaves' new album includes covers in such wide-ranging genres as pop music, hip-hop and country. The effect is a vocal band. "Since I started singing with the group, we have shifted from barbershop style, where all parts sing the words of the melody, to a style where voices mimic instrumental sounds," says Matt Kiel, a senior at UR and the group's music director.

The Octaves clearly studied the pieces they performed on the CD — maybe a little too closely. Since no group can truly replicate the sound of a band like Green Day, it might have been more advantageous to explore more original interpretations of some of the pieces. That said, the OutKast song "The Way You Move" translated surprisingly well. Between that and the Ben Folds song "The Luckiest" — probably the most introspective piece on the album — The Octaves show a real appreciation and understanding of many genres of music.

The planning for "Corner Pocket" began last May, and the final mixing took place at the beginning of March. "The fact that we're still getting along is remarkable," Kiel says. "All the guys are truly passionate about what we do." — Chantal Panozzo

The Exboyfriends open "Spring Fever XI" Friday, April 1, at 7:30 p.m. The Octaves perform Saturday, April 2, at 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. with other a cappella groups, including Tufts Beelzebubs and the UVA Sil'houettes. All concerts are at the Modlin Center. Call 289-8980 or go to for more information.

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