Founded in the spring of 2001, the Achordants are an all-male a cappella group at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a mission to entertain and to promote the message of diversity through music. Since the group's inception, the Achordants have performed a wide variety of music in as many different locations as possible. The group never loses sight of its mission statement, and continues to hold a rich tradition of advocating charitable causes and supporting multicultural organizations. When it comes to collegiate a cappella, the Achordants believe that the key is to have fun, and to not take yourself too seriously.
Every semester, the Achordants host a concert featuring more than a dozen songs and comedy skits. The Achordants have recorded 7 albums in their 19-year tenure.
We’ve been pretty busy recently with the release of our 7th album "Storming the Castle" in April! In the past year, we released our EP Live, Vol.1 , won an A cappella Video Award for our Burnin' Up music video, and we're featured on the compilation album BOCA 2020: Best of College A Cappella.
(Pictured: The Achordants performing at Sunset Serenade in August of 2017)
The idea to start a new all-male a cappella group at UNC first occurred to Arash Jahanian and Derek Vanderpool at the end of their first year, in the spring of 2000. The two friends were frustrated by what they saw as limited options for singers at the school, as well as a lack of musical diversity in the existing musical groups. The group's third founding member, Eric Ellis, joined forces with Arash and Derek the following semester. In January of 2001, a primordial incarnation of the group, consisting of Eric, Arash, Derek, and mutual friend Dan Hinson, performed the national anthem as a quartet for a Powder Puff football game at Carmichael Field.
Three months later, at the end of March, the UNC Achordants held their first round of auditions, accepting three new members into their ranks: Dino Alexander, David Angeles, and Collin Cooper. The official inauguration of the Achordants occured at the end of the spring semester, when the seven singers performed at the student-organized SpringFest concert on April 19th, 2001. The Achordants' first songs performed in public were Billy Joel's "For the Longest Time," the barbershop standard "Hello My Baby," and Franz Biebl's "Ave Maria," three selections that emphasized a commitment to musical diversity that the group continues to hold today.
In the Spring of 2005, the Achordants became the South Regional Champions at the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella, securing them a spot on the stage of NYC's Lincoln Center. Recordings of the groups' ICCA performances in later years have since accumulated hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube.
Since the group's inception, the UNC Achordants have striven to embody the best in a cappella music and Carolina in general. The group has dedicated themselves to performing a wide variety of music in a variety of locations (from the concert halls of UNC, to the Boardwalk of Atlantic City, to an elevator in LUX apartments), as well as staying true to their mission of service and inclusion. Of course, the Achordants have always remembered to never take themselves too seriously. After all, it's only a cappella music, and it doesn’t get much goofier than that.
Look up the word "harmony" in a thesaurus and you'll find "accordance." From this word, the creators simply added the musical "chord" pun, threw out some letters, added a "t", and voilà, you've got "Achordants!"
It's important to us that we have many diverse members who are actively involved on campus. However, being an Achordant is a significant time commitment. Two rehearsals per week (plus gigs) is standard, and attendance is mandatory. The workload increases whenever we’re preparing for our semesterly concerts, holding auditions, competing, or recording albums. We traditionally go on retreat over fall break as well. On the whole, expect the Achordants to be your primary extracurricular activity.
To this date, there have NEVER been required membership fees. And we plan to keep it that way.
As long as you identify as male and love to sing, absolutely! The Achordants hold auditions every August, January and April.