Not gone but right there: CUPapella

Tok, tok, tok, … The nearly 3,000 participants of the Day of the Youth are bursting with excitement as Fredi, Frauke, and Birthe begin to drum three cups on a table in a rhythmic beat and then quietly begin to sing.

The three played “When I’m gone” by Anna Kendrick from the movie Pitch Perfect (also known as Cups). There was not a seat left in the hall where this took place, the CongressCenter in Hamburg in Germany. Were they not nervous playing in front of such a huge audience? They downplay it a little, “We had a lot of fun. The audience and the atmosphere were amazing.” The response of the young audience to this so-called cup clap technique and the song “I got my ticket for the long way ‘round” was tremendous. There was a big burst of applause.

The three young women from the north of Germany founded CUPapella in 2014. They had met through various music and choir projects. “We wanted to start a vocal group. But without a beatboxer and there only being three of us it was kind of hard to do, considering the type of music we wanted to make. Then we hit on the idea of the cups. And this song was the first one we performed,” Birthe explains. She and Frauke are the two altos of the trio.

“Of course we are not used to such a huge audience. The biggest audience we sang for before the Day of the Youth was about 400 people. As strange as it may sound, we were less nervous in Hamburg than we were at all the other gigs.” But that was also due to the great organization and the professional sound engineering. “We have never sounded that good! People approached us after the performance and told us how much they liked it.”

Do they have any plans? Well, the 18- and 19-year-old girls are not quite sure. Finishing school and spending some time abroad are definitely on the agenda. “But with one here and one there it is going to be hard to find time to work on the songs and get together for rehearsals. Of course we want to continue to work on our music and perform.” Fredi, Frauke, and Birte definitely agree on one thing, “That we made such an impression on people with our music feels great.”

Article info


Oliver Rütten, Daniel Mauthe
Germany, national youth days, Music