Sounds Like Treble connects students who are passionate about music


Image via Sounds like Treble

Sounds Like Treble, an all-treble a capella group.

By Serena Garcia, Senior Staff Writer

For Rhea Parikh, Sounds Like Treble allows her to pursue her love for music while making lasting connections along the way. Parikh said she has gotten to know so many people that she would have never had the opportunity of meeting outside the club. 

“Some of my best friends I’ve met through this club,” Parikh, a sophomore computational social science major and the club’s business manager, said. “It’s also great to see the different majors that we bring together because I wouldn’t have met most of these people through my classes. I’m really glad that I was able to do it in such a fun environment.”

Sounds Like Treble is the only all treble a cappella group on campus. Formed in 1997, the 17-person group consists only of alto and soprano singers and typically meets twice a week for rehearsals. 

Gina Denny, the group’s president and a senior mechanical engineering major, said the group focuses on arranging and performing live music. 

“We do a lot of things. We do a cappella music. We arrange our own music and we perform our music at a few concerts,” Denny said. 

Denny joined Sounds Like Treble during her first year at Pitt and said she has witnessed the group’s growth through the years. 

During this past fall semester, the group had three key performances ─ their annual fall concert, a Halloween concert and performance at a talent show for Pitt Dance Marathon.  

“The Halloween concert is actually hosted by Pitches and Tones here at Pitt, but basically all the a cappella groups come and perform there,” Denny said. “We dress up in Halloween costumes and each group does like two songs, and it’s a whole lot of fun.”  

This semester, the group competed at the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella on Feb. 18, which Denny said resembles the competition in the 2012 film “Pitch Perfect.”

“It is a whole lot of fun. We sing as well as do choreography. It’s a ten minute set,” Denny said. 

The group’s ICCA set included songs like The Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby,” Lizzy McAlpine’s “erase me,” and the acclaimed-hit “Golden” by Harry Styles — each song was individually arranged by members of the club. Despite not winning any awards, Denny said she was still proud of her group.

“It went pretty well. I think we did better than last year,” Denny said. “We didn’t win anything, but I don’t mind. I’m just happy with how we did. It’s a whole lot of fun.” 

Amelia Milza, a sophomore political science and English writing major, serves as the group’s social outreach coordinator. Milza said performing at the ICCA allowed her and the group to see their own musical arrangements come to life. 

“ICCAs, it was a really long day, but it was also really fun,” Milza said. “I think we went out there and gave it our all. It was just really fun actually going onstage and seeing what we created and actually performing it in front of people.” 

Milza joined the group her first year at Pitt while she was looking for a way to pursue her passion for music outside her studies. From her previous experience with singing in high school, Milza believed joining an a cappella group would fit her perfectly.

“I didn’t want to do it as intensely as I did in high school. So, I was looking for a nice outlet and a nice group of people that I could sing with,” Milza said.

Like Milza, Parikh knew that coming to Pitt, she wanted to further explore her passion for music. 

“I always knew that coming into college that I wanted to do music in some capacity. I didn’t really know what it was gonna be,” Parikh said. “SLT was at the second club fair my freshman year, so I thought I missed everything. But I saw the audition poster and was like, ‘Let me try out and see what happens.’ I’m really glad I get to do something outside my major, and something that I wouldn’t have done class-wise.” 

Outside of their scheduled performances, Sounds Like Treble posts their covers and arrangements to both their YouTube and Instagram. Denny said the group selects their songs for the semester collectively. Members nominate songs they would like the group to perform and add them to a joint Spotify playlist. Once a playlist is complete, each member picks their top songs and votes on which ones the group will perform that semester. 

Members then arrange a song for the group to perform, something that Parikh said is an amazing opportunity. 

“I got the opportunity to arrange one,” Parikh said. “I did ‘People Watching’ by Conan Gray. It’s such a great opportunity to write something, I have never done that before. I really love how SLT lets everybody try something different. You don’t have to be experienced to arrange, or solo or whatever it is.” 

Besides their usual covers, Denny said the group has formed their own niche — creating “mash-ups.”
“Sometimes we do mash-ups too,” Denny said. “Last semester we did a Taylor Swift mash-up. There was one song from each album, it was like 8 minutes long. It was good. This semester we’re doing a mash-up of ‘This Love’ and ‘Misery’ by Maroon 5.” 

Sounds Like Treble will end this school year with their annual spring concert, which will feature around five songs and a senior mash-up of One Republic’s “Good Life” and Keane’s “Somewhere Only We Know.” 

Milza said while Sounds Like Treble is focused on preparing their arrangements and performances, adding that the group allows those who are dedicated to music to come together and create something they’re proud of. 

“We’re a fun group,” Milza said. “Yeah, we have to get things done, we have priorities, but we just like to get together and sing and have fun.”