7 Days A Cappella competes on national stage

The group will perform at the semifinal round of International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella.

Soloist and university junior Patrick Terry rehearses with the a cappella group 7 Days on Wednesday night in Ferguson Hall.  7 Days is currently preparing to compete in the semifinal round of the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella tournament in St. Louis.

Soloist and university junior Patrick Terry rehearses with the a cappella group 7 Days on Wednesday night in Ferguson Hall. 7 Days is currently preparing to compete in the semifinal round of the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella tournament in St. Louis.

Colette Bell

Like its fictional counterparts on the hit show “Glee,” the University of Minnesota’s vocal group 7 Days A Cappella will compete Saturday for a spot at the international championship.

The group will compete in the semi-final round of the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella. If the group places first, it will advance to the championship in New York City.

It’s the first time 7 Days has made it this far in the competition since 2008. It was previously titled quarterfinal runner-up, after scoring only two points behind Washington University Stereotypes during the Midwest quarterfinal.

The semi-finals will be in St. Louis. Before the nine-hour car ride, the vocalists have a performance in Willmar, Minn. From there they’ll drive to Missouri just in time to prepare for the stage.

“It’s a long way to travel for 12 minutes on stage,” said Caitlin Riebe, a child psychology sophomore and a first-year 7 Days member.

The group’s repertoire includes mashups like “The Telephone Call” — a mix of “Telephone,” originally performed by Lady Gaga and Beyoncé, and Backstreet Boys’ “The Call” — and powerful ballads like Adele’s “Rollin’ in the Deep.”

The group’s setlist for Missouri includes tracks by John Legend and Florence and the Machine.

The group is required to perform a set of three songs with choreography. Judges will critique in the categories of vocal performance, visual performance and subjective rank.

“It’s really nerve-racking, but it’s really exciting,” said member Casey Gamboni, a family social science sophomore.

Gamboni said the group has extended rehearsal hours from two hours twice a week to three hours as the competition nears.

An even greater challenge is the group’s decision to learn a set of three new songs in about a month and a half.

“That’s something that is unheard of, but we are definitely capable of it,” Gamboni said.

The song selection process is simple and collaborative. Members sit in a circle and discuss possibilities.

Robert Komaniecki, 7 Days president and a music senior, said the group generally picks three songs for a set.

Once songs are chosen, members who want to sing the solos audition in front of the group.

While there’s a competitive nature to the championship final, 7 Days has a positive outlook on the experience as a whole.

“I think we compete to grow as a group,” Riebe said. “It takes a lot to get up on stage with 15 other people and sell it.”

Generally, ICCA is more of a family environment than most competitions — Gamboni called it “one big a cappella family.”

That atmosphere extends to 7 Days as well. Many members of the group currently live together.

Stress was high in the practice room during rehearsals this week, but the group still managed to goof off a little between numbers.

The vocalists hope to win the Missouri round, but also for something more.

“We’ve committed so much to this that we just need to go out there,” Riebe said, “and show everyone what 7 Days A Cappella is and hope for the best.”