Elemental Evolution

UWEC a cappella group adds first female singer, drops album of ’80s classics

Emily Kinzel |

Entering their 20th year, UW-Eau Claire’s very own a capella group, Fifth Element, has embraced change. With the debut of their most recent album, Neon, and the addition of the group’s first female singer, you’re never gonna give this group up. Their energetic style, fun vocal layering, and entertaining compilations will evoke the dancing queen in all of us. A capella, of course, is a musical style involving vocals with no other instruments. Group members use their voices to create each element within a song, erasing any need for guitars, basses, or other backup. Fifth Element establishes dense layers of engaging tones that surprise and amaze. Group members include: Karlie Korish, Noah Druckrey, Steven Witzeling, Will Johnston, Collin Sorenson, and Ian Rucker. With the addition of the group’s first female singer, Korish, “We don’t have to sing as high anymore,” a capella member Sorenson said. Korish provides some relief to the members with lower registers by taking on soprano parts. “She clicked with us right away,” Sorenson said. Fifth Element’s newfound inclusive attitude allows for anyone to take part in a capella. Their new album, recorded in the spring of 2016 but released this December, features some golden classics from the ‘80s. Warm up those jazzercise muscles, tease that ponytail, and drive your DeLorean while listening to tunes like “You Can Call Me Al,” “Never Gonna Give You Up,” and “99 Red Balloons,” you’ll be practicing your running man all night. Neon is available for purchase on Also keep an eye out for Fifth Element’s 20th anniversary concert coming up in 2018.