Iowa Hawkapellas prepare to perform Spring Concert at the Englert

The Iowa Hawkapellas will be performing their Spring Concert at the Englert Theater on April 23. With roughly 10 songs, members are excited to perform new and old works, as well as partnering with Old Gold Acapella and hosting a raffle event for the audience.


Contributed photo.

Grace Westergaard, Arts Reporter

With new songs, partnerships, and group dynamics never seen before, the Hawkapellas are gearing up for one of their most exciting concerts yet. The Iowa Hawkapellas, the University of Iowa’s all-female acapella group, will hold their annual Spring Concert on Sunday at the Englert Theatre.

Hannah Thomas is a fifth-year student at the UI studying radiation science and has been singing with the Hawkapellas for two years. Currently, she holds the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion leadership position.

“I am excited to see how our guests, new and old, respond to our sound,” Thomas said.

Thomas said the concert will be comprised of 10 songs. During intermission, the Hawkapellas introduce their members, honor the graduating seniors, and hold a raffle basket for guests.

She said members are ecstatic for the concert to be held at the Englert.

“This is something totally new to us. I’ve actually never been inside the Englert before and am pumped to get to perform in a beautiful space,” Amelia Spahn, a second-year student at the UI studying ancient civilizations and anthropology, said.

It is Spahn’s second year with the Hawkapellas, and she is the graphic designer for the group. She designs the group’s apparel, the website, and some Instagram stories, promotions, and posts.

Spahn said the concert will be comprised of large group songs featuring every group member, with soloists, beatboxers, and featured melodies.

“We will be reusing some songs from our repertoire, but the majority are brand new; one was even arranged by a member of our group,” Spahn said.

Spahn also noted that the Hawkapellas will try something new at the concert by separating the main chorus into four smaller vocal groups, with one person from each voice part — soprano, alto, tenor, and bass — comprising a group.

“We split into these groups to up the number of songs we’re able to perform while also reducing the workload on each individual,” Spahn said. “This allows us to sing four new songs, with each member only needing to learn one.”

Gabby Peterson is a first-year psychology major with a minor in music and has been involved as a singer for the Hawkapellas since September 2022. Peterson said Old Gold Acapella will open the Hawkapellas’ spring concert. Old Gold is a co-ed acapella group on campus, which the Hawkapellas will also sing a joint song with.

Another feature of the concert is the raffle event, where the Hawkapellas will have gift baskets put together by teams within the group for a certain theme. Spahn also had the idea of raffling off her own paintings and has done so with her group since last year. Spahn will also raffle off some extra shirts from the group’s winter fundraiser, as well as from their new spring apparel.

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 “This is to add a little something to give back to the people who attend our concert – other than us giving them music – and is a fun way to raise money for our group, since all of our funding stems from the community,” Spahn said. “The supplies and time to do so comes out of my own pocket, but I’m super proud to help support the group with my paintings – and my singing.”

Spahn said all group members are excited about the variety that will be included in this show. She said the Hawkapellas used to primarily perform covers of pop music but are now touching on genres like RnB, hip-hop, and country in addition to classic pop.

“I think this outreach will help us get a deeper connection with our audience, and it also helps us have lots more fun on stage,” Spahn said.

Thomas said she is excited for the audience to see the growth of the Hawkapellas.

“In the past year we’ve worked a lot on our tone, balance, communication, and blend with each other, and I think those things have improved immensely,” Thomas said.

Peterson mentioned the excitement she has for the audience to watch all the soloists perform as well.

“Our members are so incredibly talented and hardworking, and I think that everyone has something unique and beautiful to share with our audience,” Peterson said.