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Trentones perform for Flyers fans at Wells Fargo Center

The Trentones, The College of New Jersey’s only competitive a cappella group, gave a special performance in the entrance plaza at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia prior to the Flyers game on Thursday, January 18.

Despite an impending snow storm and frigid temperatures, the group greeted fans entering the arena with a 40-minute set that included their versions of Viva La Vida by Coldplay and Pompeii by Bastille, among other songs.

group of singers dressing in black clothing holding a "welcome trentones" poster

“The performance was definitely a success,” said Leonor Fontanez, president of the group. “We really had fun with it and took the time to appreciate each other and all of the Flyers fans that stood to watch us perform.”

Fontanez, a junior deaf and hard of hearing elementary education major, spearheads the team of 15 singers. The group practices three times per week, building their schedule around classes and extracurricular activities.

Throughout the year, the Trentones perform approximately 30 times at a variety of venues including sporting events, private companies, and at TCNJ and other colleges in New Jersey.

“One of my goals as president is to get us out there doing more performances not only on campus but also in the community,” Fontanez said. “Last spring we performed the national anthem at a Trenton Thunder game, which was a lot of fun.”

But their biggest performance each year comes at the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella competition, which was portrayed in the 2012 film “Pitch Perfect.”

Fontanez credits the film with raising the visibility of collegiate a cappella groups to new heights.

“That movie made explaining our competition a lot easier, especially since people don’t always understand what a cappella music is about,” she said. “And they definitely didn’t understand the work it takes to prepare for a singing competition.”

As the movie correctly depicted, a cappella groups typically perform cover songs rather than original music.

“We do try to stick to more well-known pieces,” Fontanez said. “When an audience knows a song well, it tends to be more enjoyable for them.”

For a list of upcoming performances, including a showcase of the group’s 2024 ICCA setlist this weekend at Kendall Hall, please visit the Trentone’s website

— Luke Sacks