By: CHRISTINA CLARK
Fans of the Pitch Perfect will have two chances to see “Manila Envy” in the area during April, though in real life they prefer to go by The Filharmonic.
The group will perform at the University of Notre Dame on Saturday, April 9 and at IU South Bend Wednesday, April 27.
The Filharmonic was brought into widespread recognition when they reached the semi-finals of NBC’s “The Sing-Off,” a national acapella competition television show, which launched them on a national tour that has brought the members to perform with Linkin Park, the Black Eyed Peas and fellow acapella group Pentontix.
The Filharmonic is made up of six members and their individual vocal stylings: VJ Rosales, Joe Caigoy, Trace Gaynor and Barry Fortgang, along with their vocal bass Jules Cruz and resident Beat boxer Niko Del Rey.
Del Rey and Cruz spoke to The Preface about their time on The Sing-Off, touring and how their heritage has brought them closer together as a group and with their fans.
Life during “The Sing-Off” was “pretty hectic Tuesday to Friday,” Del Rey said. “Whole chorus numbers on Saturday and Sunday, backstage shoots, opening group numbers, group battles…it was hectic.”
Most of the group resides mainly in California so competing in Hollywood wasn’t too unfamiliar.
Ultimately, the grueling schedule paid off. Currently touring around the country to different venues, they have been prepared for all sorts of schedules.
Some of their favorite performances have been on the road, away from their homes in California. “The University of Texas at Austin had a big Filipino following,” Del Rey said, which is meaningful to how the group formed.
“It is an important part to represent who we are, and we are grateful that in October we got to go to the Philippines together,” said Del Rey.
“Together [The Filharmonic] honor their Filipino heritage through incredibly nuanced musical performances that are both moving and fun to experience,” the group’s website said.
“What started as friendly chance encounters at singing competitions in college eventually solidified into a harmonious group as the boys discovered their shared genuine chemistry, unparalleled love of music, and undeniable musical talents. Through social network and a strong kinship in their Filipino culture they have found their niche in the musical community,” according to the website.
Cruz’s favorite performance opportunity was sharing the stage with Pentontix. “Performing to sold out crowds” is a great feeling. “All of us have our own styles: pop, opera, jazz, musical theater,” Cruz said, explaining the group’s diverse musical background. Their website additionally lists classical.
The Filharmonic will be performing at IUSB at Greenlawn (the green-space formerly holding the Greenlawn building) at 5:30 p.m. April 27. Titan Productions is hosting the event and encourages students to come by from 1 to 5 p.m. prior to the performance for bubble soccer, a cookout, live music from IUSB students and Coach Bruce.