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A cappella vocalists come to the Bay

Beginning March 29, the Williams Octet, an a cappella vocal
group from Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts will be
touring the greater Bay Area through April 2.

A cappella is a type of music in which no instruments or back up
music is used. Instead, vocalists manipulate their voices to create
the background beats as well as the vocals.

The Williams Octet has been wowing audiences since 1941, and the
group has sung with many other a cappella groups, as well as bands
including Aerosmith, U2 and Dave Matthews Band. In the past month,
they have preformed at Princeton, NYU, Six Flags Theme Park and

“[For the tour] we’ll be staying in the houses of alums and
members, touring around, and singing a few concerts,” wrote Don
Mitchell, one of the members of the Williams Octet in an

The group released their first CD in four years this year,
called Goes Down Easy. The 11 tracks include a cappella versions of
“Stuck in a Moment” by U2, “Love the One You’re With” by Stephan
Stills, “In My Life” by the Beatles, “The One” by the Backstreet
Boys, and “Blue Moon” by Rodgers and Hart. Each track includes solo
vocals by one of the members.

“I was surprised by how professional these boys are,” said Reid
Petersen, who owns their new CD. “I was skeptical at first, but
once I started listening I feel like it opened up a whole new realm
of music that I now appreciate. They are very talented!”