awkapella began in the fall of 2001. Steve Wolf and Justin Moran were both incoming freshman at the time, and they met at freshman orientation. They soon discovered that they were both interested in starting a guys a cappella group, after successfully doing so with their respective high schools.
After some struggles, auditions were finally held in November. The group (nameless at the time) consisted of 6 members: Steve, Justin, Adam, Chris, Lelan, and Dave. This new group only performed a couple times, and made some crappy recordings, but the foundation was set!
Towards the end of the year, they also chose a name. It was a tough decision; they were Hawkapella (because we are the Hartford Hawks) for a week or two, didn’t like it, Male Pattern Baldness for a day, Justin vetoed that, and they finally settled on Vamp As Needed, because every song they did had the phrase “vamp as needed” somewhere.
But alas, the fans had other plans. The following year, everyone was asking about Hawkapella. When will Hawkapella be singing next? When are Hawkapella auditions? It seemed the name had chosen the group. Ever since, the group has been performing more and more, with the Improv Comedy group’s shows being a common time to sing a few songs.
At the end of the Spring 2005 semester Steve and Justin departed from the University due to reasons that included: ...graduating. After their departure, Adam Podd received the honor of being the group’s next leader/musical director. The group had suffered big losses, but quickly regained strength with lots of new auditioners.
Since then, Hawkapella has continued to have lots of excellent young men audition, and typically has between 12 and 16 members. We have lots of gig requests...sometimes more than we can handle...but we are happy to sing all over New England (and sometimes elsewhere). Especially with other college groups...especially all-girl groups...
At last, in the Spring of 2008, Hawkapella released its first mixed CD, which was recorded live from the Fall 2007 show. We're Hawkapella and you'll like us...and our recordings.
With Adam Podd’s graduation in '08, Griffin Coombs became the third Hawkapella music director. He enjoyed great economic prosperity and harvested many crops; more than enough to sustain an upscale living. Nah, just kidding. Though, he was an awesome music director and brought much success to the group.
The fourth director was deemed to be Bobby Tomasulo '14, who dedicated four long years to this group and made some of the biggest changes and improvements thus far. From a Hawkapella tour to several great gigs, his reign will always be memorable in Hawkapella's history. He took his bow in his super-senior year, and he will live on as the legendary fourth musical director of Hawkapella...enough said.
Chris Cutler '15, now known as the fifth to reign as director, ruled over the men for his final year in school....He is known as the "Weatherman" among many......You never knew what the forecast had in store....
Our sixth leader is Mr. Steven (Pep)Perrone '18, who had been born and bred for this position since his freshman year. He lead the men to victory and embarked on the hunt for a new Hawkamom, among many other adventures, such as the unforgettable 2016 Spring Break Tour planned by James Pecsok. We’ll always be reminding Ford about ”the incident”. After a fantastic final semester alongside his fellow Hawkamen, Steve finally retired, leaving behind only the finest of headwear for the next director.
Keith Sisterhemn was in many ways an inspiration. We don’t know exactly how he pulled it off (many suggest it was the nightly forceful cuddling and support from John and Tristan) but he certainly brought the group new energy. With the power of Just Cause 3 and grandpa’s balls, Keith shipped the group off to Buffalo under the care of hometown native and assistant director Isaac. It was here the group triumphed over the Eternal Flame in the dead of winter and serenaded sweet Cliffy, as well as the fine folks at venues such as Hot Mama’s and the famous Broadway Market. Keith is now a teacher of music stuff. He got a lot of practice in while directing. Isaac Gadikian our current residing Hawkapella director
Isaac Gadikian is the current director of Hawkapella! He’s a fresh young lad who is making great strides with the group! His focus in on expanding the group’s repertoire and the successful-rehearsal-switch-to-Monday-nights-rather-than-Tuesdays. For more current and in-depth updates, please see the insert hyper link to desk of director thing!
Hawkapella is always looking to continue progressing without compromising their old traditions and values (which basically include having fun, being fun, and not sucking too much). So come one come all out to a Hawkapella show, because we are manly men who do the singing thing which is pretty damn cool.