Student Stories

Sing It Loud: Run for Cover

Name: Run for Cover

Genre: Contemporary, All-Male

Established: 2008

President: Alex Yoo (2016-17), George Saieed ‘19 (2017-18)

Where they can be heard: Practicing in Logan, also on Spotify and iTunes

Most memorable arrangement: The Wanderer, Cover Me, and Chains (on their Upcoming album).

How to get involved: Auditions are held first week of Autumn Quarter and as needed throughout the year.

At UChicago, men's a cappella is held down by Run for Cover, the only all-male group in the University’s official a cappella council. “We're perceived as some cool dudes who can sing pretty well, but can…[also] have a lot of fun,” said Alex Yoo, class of 2018 and the group’s president for this school year. “And we're also the churro group!”

Run for Cover was founded 2008. They primarily perform on campus, in either Reynolds Club, Ida Noyes, or the Logan Center, and have recorded an album, released in 2014, and several singles. The group has also performed at wedding proposals. Run for Cover’s last concert this year was on June 1st, and they have recorded and are planning to release a full album at the beginning of the next academic year.

Yoo described their style of music as broad, encompassing and blending a variety of genres.

“UChicago a cappella in general is really special in that...we don't really cater to mainstream or popular songs,” said Yoo. “We have a lot of really creative people here.”

For Run for Cover, that creativity comes through most when they do more obscure songs. Yoo said that arrangers tend to have a chance to be more creative with songs that aren’t too well known. “If you get too creative with a popular song that everyone knows—it [has the potential to be] not received very well.”

An example of this creativity is their most recent single, “Gold.” An a capella arrangement of the EDM song of the same name by Adventure Club, and featuring soloist Kari Wei (AB ‘16), it recently was selected as the single of the year by the Recorded A Cappella Review Board. The track was also featured on Voices Only, an a cappella compilation album, and also was runner-up for the Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards’ Best Male Collegiate Arrangement category.

At Run for Cover concerts, Yoo said “we like to have fun with popular songs,” as the group likes to put on a show for their audience. In addition to their more complicated and creative arrangements, they’ve performed popular songs, like “Trap Queen” by Fetty Wap, which they’ve covered in the past, and “White and Nerdy” by Weird Al Yankovic, which they performed at their concert last week. They also frequently perform choral music because “the timbre of [our] voices sound great with some certain choral [arrangements].”

Run for Cover is seen as being chill and laid-back, according to Yoo.  “We're just a lot of fun,” he said, which comes across in how Run for Cover’s members interact with each other in their rehearsals. They can go from being silly and joking to being incredibly serious about the music, in no time at all.

“I wouldn't be in this group if it weren't for the group dynamic and the friends that I've made,” said Yoo. As a  Biology major, Yoo said that Run for Cover offers a break from academic life.“I can just put two hours of my homework away and just make music with my friends.”

As for their popular churro fundraiser, Yoo joked, “I can't tell you too much information about churros.” Run for Cover uses its churro sales to cover the cost for recording its album. Selling churros, he said, is “a little niche that is special to Run for Cover, and we keep that very secretive.”

What’s not a secret is how Run for Cover, like all of our campus’s a cappella groups, combines passion and talent to make great music. Take a peek at one of their recent rehearsals in the playlist below: