Gold Vibrations casts a spell with spring concert


Oakland University a cappella group Gold Vibrations hosted its annual spring concert “Harry Potter and the AcapalOUza” at Avondale High School on Friday, March 25. For more photos, visit our Facebook page. 

Cheyanne Kramer

In preparation for its International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA) competition in New York, Oakland’s a cappella group, Gold Vibrations, joined three other universities in a Harry Potter-themed concert.

“Harry Potter and the Aca PalOUza” was hosted at Avondale High School on Friday, March 25. Michigan State, Central Michigan and Grand Valley State University joined Oakland in its performance.

Brian Baylor, a member of Gold Vibrations and a senior musical theatre major, explained that the set they performed was a combination of their competition set and a few songs that the audience would enjoy.

“All of us are huge fans of Harry Potter,” he said.

Oakland University represented Hufflepuff in the concert. This was in part due to the color scheme matching OU’s colors and the house’s attitude.

“We’re great finders,” Baylor said. “We’re all friendly and amiable.”

Michigan State represented Slytherin, Grand Valley represented Ravenclaw and Central Michigan represented Gryffindor.

Before the concert, three former performers came on stage to perform small skits to introduce the teams. One of these performers was Justin Donoghue, former president of Gold Vibrations. He joined the stage dressed as Headmaster Albus Dumbledore.

Each team had the chance to perform their sets and halfway through the show, each university sent two percussionists to compete in a “perk-off.”

Those students then had the chance to beatbox against one another, with MSU winning the final round against OU.

Following the “perk-off” was an intermission, where vice president of the group Erin Ben-Moche joined others in scouting the crowd for kids dressed in their best Harry Potter outfits. The winner left the concert with a Gold Vibrations shirt.

Throughout the concert, concessions and 50/50 raffle tickets were sold. The raffle ticket profits went toward the arts program at Avondale High School.

Donations were also collected to help send Gold Vibrations to their upcoming competition in New York City. The university gave the group $5,000 and over $7,000 was raised via a GoFundMe campaign.

Ben-Moche took the stage after the intermission to address the audience.

“I love this group,” she said. “Our success wouldn’t be what it is without you guys.”

She also acknowledged that five of the 18 performers will be graduating at the end of this academic year. In recognition of these graduates, alums from Gold Vibrations took the stage to perform “Black and Gold” by Sam Sparro.

The audience was told not to record their ICCA set because of the risk of other groups learning their set in order to get the upper hand in competition.  

At the end of the concert, Gold Vibrations was met with a standing ovation and chants for an encore, which they honored with a final song.

“We never thought we’d be here,” Ben-Moche said. “It feels good.”

Gold Vibrations will be heading to New York on April 30 for the final round of the ICCA. More information can be found on their website,, on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.