Crowds of squealing teenage girls with illuminated iPhone screens open to Snapchat filled The Rose Room as Archer girls braced themselves. But it wasn’t One Direction who prepared to take the stage, it was The Other Guys — a Scottish a capella group from the University of St. Andrews.
During lunch on Friday, Jan. 8, students gathered for a performance delivered by The Other Guys, a “premier all-male a cappella ensemble in Scotland,” according to their website.
Archer’s College Guidance department collaborated with St. Andrews’ admissions department to bring the group to Archer. Unaccompanied Minors’ Music Director Kate Burns and The Other Guys Business Director Xander Johnson then connected to schedule the performance.
Archer was the first stop of thirteen stops on The Other Guys’ month-long North American tour.
“We did what’s called a jam circle. It’s when we all get in a big circle and someone lays down a beat. Then, everyone just throws different sounds on top of it and it becomes this little arrangement in the moment that everybody contributes to,” Burns said. “It was alive and always moving and it was a great way to break the ice so that everyone was loose, jamming and having fun.”
The Unaccompanied Minors spent time getting to know The Other Guys and were able to hear about their involvement in a cappella.
“The Other Guys told us about their backgrounds as singers,” Burns said. “They all come from totally different worlds—singer-songwriters, musical theatre, rock, pop or jazz and some are straight up choir boys.”
The Other Guys performed a range of songs from One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful” to Disney’s Jungle Book theme song “Bare Necessities.”
“We just had a fantastic time meeting [you guys], singing with you and jamming with you. It’s a great school. We’re so glad you guys enjoyed it,” The Other Guys member Charles McGlone said.
“I loved it; I love this place. It felt like we were going into Beauxbatons from Harry Potter,” another member, Ryan Hubner said. “Jamming with the Unaccompanied Minors was sweet. It was a fun, great crowd.”
The Unaccompanied Minors were able to gain insight from the group about their experiences with a cappella competitions.
“They compete often, and we’re competing for the first time this February, so we learned a little bit about what to expect when you show up at a competition,” Burns said, “You have twelve minutes that you have to fill and it’s very stressful, so we got kind of an inside scoop on what that would be like.”
“It was such an amazing opportunity to be able to hang out with them, sing with them, get to know them and then listen to their awesome performance,”Unaccompanied Minors member Delilah Hamlin said. “They were all super cool and seemed to be so invested in their a cappella experience.”
Below is a video of one of the songs that “The Other Guys” performed courtesy of Burns.