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A cappella festival in Greenport includes local student performers

05/10/2016 4:19 PM |

Mitchell Park

You’ve likely seen the “Pitch Perfect” movies starring Anna Kendrick. But have you ever seen a live a cappella group in action?

If not, this weekend is your chance.

Greenport Village Trustee Doug Roberts has invited nine high school and college a cappella groups to sing at Mitchell Park in Greenport this Saturday, May 14, at 2 p.m. (Unfortunately, Ms. Kendrick isn’t among them.)

Students from Greenport and Riverhead high schools will perform, as will headliners Sigma’cappella of Hofstra University and the all-male Princeton Nassoons.

“It’s hard to not like kids singing in the park one afternoon,” Mr. Roberts said. “I’m hoping [the festival] will help bring people out to Greenport who may not know about it.”

Each group will have a few minutes to perform their selections, with some schools bringing multiple a cappella groups to the event, which is free to attend. The audience is encouraged to bring picnics, blankets and lawn chairs, Mr. Roberts said.

The Multicolored Ties, an all-male group from Northport High School, will also sing, said Mr. Roberts, one of the group’s founding members.

“We all love to perform and have fun and the Greenport festival seems like it will be a great time,” said Patrick Lyons, a current member of The Multicolored Ties. “We are all looking forward to hearing and learning from the college a cappella groups that will also be performing.”

Mr. Roberts said he got the idea for the festival about a year and a half ago when he ran for Greenport Village Board. He hopes to bring more art and music to Mitchell Park and the surrounding area and has been working on the event since last August.

Mr. Roberts said he thought hosting the festival before Memorial Day was ideal because the village won’t yet be “packed to the brim” with people but the weather will be warm enough to draw a crowd.

“The business community seemed interested in it and regular residents seemed interested in having stuff to come check out,” he said.

The a cappella festival is largely made possible thanks to a $2,500 donation from a volunteer group called The Friends of Mitchell Park, which mostly funded Mr. Roberts’ advertising efforts and is paying the headlining groups.

“I’m looking forward to see if it’s successful in getting some people out in Greenport,” said Mr. Roberts, who added that he’s open to the idea of making the festival an annual event.

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Photo: Dances in the Park during the 2015 Tall Ships event at Mitchell Park. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder, file)

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