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Changing Their Tune

Changing Their TuneTufts' Beelzebubs are shaping the new generation of college a cappella.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [04.30.01] With a history spanning four decades and a set list that includes everything from U2 to the Beastie Boys, Tufts' Beelzebubs have been a major force in reviving and reshaping college a cappella music.

As the Boston Globe happily reports, "They're not your father's a cappella!"

According to the newspaper, the Bubs have made a cappella music both entertaining and relevant to a new generation of listeners.

Describing them as "unquestionably the most influential college vocal chorus" since the early 1900s, the Globe reported that the Bubs "are among the most popular campus vocal groups in the country."

Already, the Tufts singing group has logged over 85 concerts this year.

Strong talent and interesting musical arrangements have not only helped the Bubs land gigs, but also change popular perceptions of a cappella music.

"This type of a cappella has a different stage presence; it's more something young audiences can relate to," Bubs' president Ben Black told the Globe. "A lot of kids come up to us and say they thought a cappella was stupid until they saw us."

The Globe seems to agree that the Bubs' sound is full of surprises.

"The casual listener of their hot, hip new CD, 'Next,' would never guess this was entirely a vocal recording," reported the Globe. "Tight, astonishingly credible drum and cymbal parts bob and hiss behind songs by Radiohead, Counting Crowes, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Destiny's Child and the Beastie Boys, while keyboard-esque blankets of sound add harmonic texture and emotional color."

But the CD is about more than just music -- the proceeds help support the group's foundation, which helps local schools fund their music programs.

"From top to bottom, we're having fun performing, but also giving back to the community," said Bubs historian Sam Vaill. "We're sharing music with other people on all these levels; that's the best part."

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