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Cadence, Lafayette’s female a cappella group, took third place Saturday at the Mid-Atlantic regional finals of the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella hosted by Cornell University.

The performance establishes Cadence as the best female a cappella group in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Cadence competed in the finals after finishing second among 11 teams earlier that day in the regional semifinals, where Lafayette groups Quintessence, a jazz ensemble, and The Chorduroys, a male group, also competed. Toni Ahrens ’05 (Hamilton, N.Y.), a double major in psychology and English with a concentration in theater, was named the semifinals’ Outstanding Soloist for her performance in “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You.”

“Cadence has the most dedicated, fun, talented, and overall fantastic group of women I could ever imagine,” she says. “The reason I enjoy singing with Cadence is because we genuinely love singing together and we always have a great time. We are like a family: Sometimes we disagree, but at the end of rehearsal when we sit down for dinner together, we just laugh and have a great time.”

Lafayette was the only school with three groups in the semifinals. Cadence advanced there by finishing third at a divisional contest hosted Dec. 4 by Rochester Institute of Technology, where Ahrens also won Outstanding Soloist honors. Quintessence and The Chorduroys were semifinalists after finishing third and fourth, respectively, in the divisional competition hosted Nov. 12 by Rutgers University. Chemical engineering major Kaytlin Henry ’07 (Little Egg Harbor, N.J.) of Quintessence received an Outstanding Arrangement award for “I Dream of Jeannie.”

Ahrens says that the ICCA competition was a great way to meet new people, make contacts with other groups in the area, get new ideas for songs, talk to other group leaders about how they run their rehearsals, and perform on stage with many talented singers.

“It was intimidating at first because there were so many people,” she says, “but once Cadence performed, I had nothing but confidence in our performance and I was unbelievably proud of the group for our third-place finish in the regional finals, making us the best all-female a cappella group in the Mid-Atlantic region.”

Cadence is preparing its third CD, which will be released in a few months. The group will perform 10 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 24, in the Farinon Center with a guest group and has several other concerts on tap this semester, both on and off campus.

Ahrens plans to move near Manhattan after graduation to explore a career in the performing arts, “either on stage or behind the scenes, and I will be close enough to still come back for as many Cadence concerts as I can!”

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