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.
(Pictured: A 2002 publicity photo, including the founding members)