Clubs and organizations you may not have heard of: Shockapella


Courtesy of Shockapella

Shockapella performing at the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA), which took place at the beginning of this year.

A cappella first entered mainstream media with the release of the 2012 hit movie, “Pitch Perfect”.  Eight years later, this style of music continues to be widely popular. 

Shockapella is Wichita State’s one and only a cappella group. The group participates in the ICCA competition, also known as the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella, and performs at other local community events. 

The competition is being held virtually this year due to COVID-19. Erick Snedegar, president of Shockapella, says the group is following the ICCA’s lead and meeting virtually this year for practices. 

“Like the competition which has gone virtual, we have decided to run Shockapella entirely virtually,” Snedegar said. “[We are] basically learning all of our music independently, and instead of meeting up together to sing we’ve been sending in personal recordings and video editing them together to create a virtual experience.”

Vice president of the group Ramon Mosate says the process was a challenge at first, but not hindering. 

“It’s definitely been a bit of a learning curve for both the people in the group who are singing and the editors, but when you get past it, it starts flowing pretty quickly,” Mosate said. “With trial and error, it can be such a simple process.”

Mosate said that in the past he was more connected to classical music, and a capella music is a newer interest of his.

“The difference between singing classically and singing a capella is just so different because you have to sing in a different voice-type essentially,” Mosate said. “You have to be more open and operatic for classical, but for a capella you can be more pop and chill and laid back. Same amount of enjoyment in different ways.”

WSU Shockappella has spent the last two months practicing and gathering recordings for their latest competition.

“We submitted our audition at the end or middle of October,” Mosate said. “We will hear back around Nov. 15 if we are going to advance to the next bracket of the competition.”

To view their performances, visit their Youtube channel or social media outlets.

Last year, Shockapella was ranked fourth in the region and student Joaquin Martinez earned the title of “Best Beatboxer”. 

As a music education major, Snedegar says his passion for music can sometimes become stressful when mixed with school. 

“…When your entire class structure revolves around music, when your performance becomes a grade, it is such a refresher to be able to engage in music as a hobby,” Snedegar said. “Shockapella has become a really nice outlet to still engage with what I’m passionate about for no other reason than to just have fun.” 

When it comes to the “Pitch Perfect” movie series, Snedegar says the portrayal is nearly spot-on.

“…My only comment from that is that the experience and the competition process that is portrayed in the movie is not all that far off from what happens in real life,” Snedegar said. “It really is getting to live out that fantasy that you saw in theatres a few years ago.”

Auditions for Shockapella occur at the beginning of the fall semester.