On Saturday, Jan. 11, Grains of Time, an all-male a cappella group at NC State, held their first concert of the season in Stewart Theatre titled Saturday Night Grains.
For Marceli Lewtak, a first-year studying aerospace engineering, the concert was an opportunity to perform as part of a college choir for the first time. Lewtak was in a jazz vocal choir in high school, and he decided to join Grains of Time after hearing about the group from a friend.
“I actually didn’t know we had a cappella here at State until one of my friends was like, ‘You should just join an a cappella group,’ and I was like, ‘They have those here?’” Lewtak said. “I was looking through all the different a cappella groups, and it just caught my interest because it was like an all-guy thing and, from what I heard, it was like a family.”
Lewtak is one of many talented freshmen in the group. According to Casimir Nair, a third-year studying biomedical and health science engineering, the incoming group of freshman bring a unique set of talent and potential to the group.
“The freshmen are very musically talented because many of them either did a cappella or played an instrument in high school,” Nair said. “This really shone through when we were arranging songs for the new competition season. A couple of the freshman stepped forward and helped our music directors come up with ideas.”
The concert included nine songs in total, and Lewtak was excited to have a beatboxing solo in two of the songs, one of which was “The Second I’m Rich.”
“It’s a really good arrangement, and I like the way it flows,’ said Lewtak.
According to Nair, the process for choosing songs was designed to elicit input from all of the group members.
“For choosing songs, everyone in the group comes into rehearsal with around three songs that they think would fit our group really well,” Nair said. “All of these songs are compiled onto a Spotify playlist, and we listen to them. We regroup a couple days later, and everyone gives input on the songs they think would be the best. We narrow it down to around 3 new songs a semester, and we keep fan favorites from previous semesters around as well.
The concert was well attended with students, staff and community members waiting in long lines for tickets. After the concert, there was a buzz in the air as attendees talked and mingled.
For Anna Najjar, a third-year studying computer science, this was not her first Grains of Time concert, nor would it be her last.
“Tonight, I really liked ‘Motivation’ and ‘Stone Cold,’” Najjar said. “I also really like ‘Open Arms,’ but they didn’t sing it tonight … ‘Motivation’ is just my favorite in general. I really like the choreography. ‘Stone Cold’ just gave me chills.”