May 052008
Authors: Kate Bennis

Members of the a capella group the Resonant RAMblings stood behind Molly Falke in the LSC Theatre donning t-shirts that read, “Leave Britney Alone.”

As she began to sing the Britney Spears hit, “Gimme More,” the others hummed, beatboxed and allowed the audience to forget about any sort of lacking instrumental accompaniment.

The concert was a big draw — few seats were empty yesterday evening as the group performed songs ranging from the Beatles to Justin Timberlake.

Formed in 2000 by Mike Santos, the group was created after Santos was unable to a capella groups on campus. Rather than using instruments, the students sing all voice, bass and percussion parts of songs.

According to their personal biography, the Resonant RAMblings will sing anywhere.

Over the past decade the popularity of a capella music has grown, and the audience size of the RAMblings concerts have as well.

Beatboxing, a type of vocal percussion, was included in songs such as “Sittin’, Wishin’, Waitin” by Jack Johnson and Timberlake’s “Lovestoned,” and was ultimately a hit with the crowd.

“I thought the beatboxing was impressive,” Castle Rock resident Debbie Gasser said. “There’s a lot of energy — I’d like to learn to do that.”

Other solos included covers of Muse’s “Starlight” and Snow Patrol’s “Run,” performed by Alan Leger and Tim Thorngate respectively.

Songs with longer introductions, such as 311’s “Amber,” performed by RAMblings president Jerick Flores, gave the audience a chance to identify the song by the vocal percussion of the members prior to the sung lyrics.

Near the end, the stage darkened the spotlight shone on tenor Kyle Flageoelle during a performance of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” The guitar solo was simulated by the mouths of the RAMblings as they feigned plucking invisible strings.

After a standing ovation following a group solo, the RAMblings performed an encore of the Red Hot Chili Peppers song, “Soul to Squeeze.”

The performance, as a whole, was well-received by the audience.

“It’s new and different. Overall thumbs up,” Katie Akin, English lit, said.

Austin Huer, previously a member of the RAMblings, agrees.

“I thought it was awesome,” he said. “My favorite song was ‘Bleeding Heart,’ we’d never done that one before.”

Alex Badham, who has performed with the RAMblings for one semester, said that while he enjoys singing, the bond he has with the other members has been the most rewarding aspect.

“I love the experience and the feeling of belonging,” he said. “Then the singing’s fun.”

Staff writer Kate Bennis can be reached at

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