Hit Paws Joins UVM A Capella Scene

We’ve seen their posters all over campus, advertising concerts and auditions. UVM’s latest a cappella singing group, the Hit Paws, has joined the Cat’s Meow and the Top Cats as part of the University’s musical community. “We just want to create nice music, above all else. We just want to sing,” says member Samantha Klein. The group was the brainchild of former and current Top Cats Greg Swain and Binks Potter, respectively. Oddly, the motivation was to take some pressure off the Cat’s Meow, UVM’s only female a cappella group. Sixty female students tried out for two openings in the group at the auditions held at the beginning of last semester. In response, the Hit Paws came into being. Since they began meeting in October, the group has performed at McGill University in Canada, and at many UVM campus functions. They held their first concert on Feb. 23 at the Ira Allen Chapel. At 7 a.m., on March 29, the Hit Paws will sing on the morning show on CBS’s Vermont network. They are also scheduled to perform at Admitted Students Day in April. “We’ve certainly come a lot further than anyone would have expected in such a short amount of time,” says Kate Marsi, the group’s music director. The group faced a lot of difficulty because it had to build a repertoire of songs to perform from scratch in just a few months. The Hit Paws’ store of music has grown into a long list of tunes most people can recognize and enjoy. Among them are “Standing Still,” by Jewel; “Everywhere,” by Michelle Branch; “Mr. Jones,” by the Counting Crows; and “Just My Imagination,” by the Temptations. “Everybody brings their tastes to the group, so it creates a diverse repertoire,” says Marsi. The Hit Paws is officially UVM’s only co-ed a cappella group. The SGA approved them on the condition that they incorporate male singers into the group. Benefits of being an SGA-recognized organization include funding, permission to rent out the Ira Allen Chapel and the ability to represent UVM at various events, as shown by the upcoming performance at Admitted Students Day. Right now, the Hit Paws consists of eleven young women. The admission of men will be a slow process, as several positions in the group need to open at once. For example, the latest audition was for just one opening. One man and ten women will not produce a well-blended, harmonious sound. Nonetheless, eventually the University of Vermont will sport three a cappella groups, each distinct from the others, yet equally appreciated. “I’m really excited about the direction the group is headed in,” said president Allyson Miserocchi. “I think we are off to a great start.”