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ASU’s all-treble a capella group closes year with spring concert

Seniors share what their time with the Pitchforks has meant to them

An a cappella group performs on a stage in a tent

A cappella group Pitchforks performs Thursday evening at Hackett House in Tempe. Photo by Stella Speridon

April 19, 2024

By Stella Speridon

The ASU all-treble a cappella group Pitchforks held its last concert of the year at the Hackett House on Thursday evening.

Founded in 1992, the Pitchforks were the first a cappella group formed in Arizona. The group features members from a range of majors, and there is a focus on female empowerment and friendship.

“Of course, we sing, but I think the most valuable thing I’ve gotten out of this club is the lifelong friendships I’ve made with this group. It’s inspiring to be surrounded by such a diverse group of powerful women,” said Nihara Mahesh, Pitchforks public relations manager and a senior studying psychology.

On Thursday, the group performed such hit songs as “Love You Like a Love Song” by Selena Gomez and “Cowboy Casanova” by Carrie Underwood. The group members also performed their set from the Varsity Vocals International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA).

The Hackett House was full at 7:30 p.m., and the show began shortly after with “Domino” by Jessie J, arranged by Pitchforks member Bridget Rhee.

The event lasted two hours and ended with “Linger” by The Cranberries, with a solo from senior group member Savanna States.

Pitchforks musical director Delaney Balk and other members created original arrangements for the group’s concerts this past year. The group met twice a week after their ICCA performance to rehearse for the spring concert.

Ulia Lopatin, a senior studying biological sciences and neurosciences, shared what a typical rehearsal looks like for the group. 

“During rehearsal, we learn a variety of original arrangements and challenge each other to perform to the best of our abilities. We meticulously rehearse every measure of the song and make sure that we are all on the same page,” Lopatin said.

The event was free for ASU students with a valid ID or $10 for non-ASU students, and it was livestreamed on Facebook. One community member, Ashley Wilkie, said she looks forward to the concerts every season.

“A few of my friends have been in the Pitchforks for three years now, and I look forward to each and every one of their concerts,” Wilkie said. “It’s just such a good vibe, and you can tell that they worked so hard.”

Two senior group members, Lopatin and Mahesh, worked together on a song for the spring concert, “Kiss From a Rose” by Seal.

“I thought Ulia did an incredible job at creating the arrangement and helping me practice my solo for the song,” Mahesh said. “I think it was overall the most special part of my night, especially for both of us because it’s our last concert together.”

Lopatin shared her favorite memory from the past four years and explained why the Pitchforks have been her favorite part of college.

“Outside of rehearsal, we make time for each other and are always there for one another if anyone needs help with anything, which is really special,” Lopatin said. “The Pitchforks has truly been my favorite part of ASU, and I am incredibly grateful for the people I have been able to get to know within this welcoming community.” 

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