Engineering Students Hit the Right Note with Buck That! A Capella Group

Posted: April 05, 2012

Buck That! A Capella Group

By Jenelle Cooper

Buck That!, a 17-member Ohio State male a capella group that includes eight students from the College of Engineering and Knowlton School of Architecture, won first place in the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA) Midwest Quarterfinal competition on February 25, 2012.

“Even getting a chance to compete in the ICCA tournament is a huge honor that many groups, unfortunately, never get to experience,” said Dominic Lohry, vice-president of Buck That!, “To have made our ICCA debut and won is beyond what we could have ever hoped for.”

Buck That!, founded by D.W. Routte in October 2010, is the first offi­cial group to rep­re­sent The Ohio State Uni­ver­sity at the ICCAs. In fact, it was not until 2009 that a cap­pella sprung to life on cam­pus; going from one group, the MeshugaN­otes, to nine groups in less than four years. 

Making their first ICCA appearance, Buck That! competed against some of the best collegiate a cappella groups in the country; such as Harmonia (University of Notre Dame), Rip Chords (University of Illinois), Madhatters (University of Wisconsin) and State of Fifths (Michigan State University).

“That day was a pure adrenaline rush, starting out the morning with an America's Got Talent audition, then giving our all for the ICCA Midwest Quarterfinal, and then back to Columbus by 1:30 a.m. to give a maximum energy level performance for the wild and crazy dancers of Buckeyethon,” said Matt Baird, a third-year electrical and computer engineering major, “All in all not a bad day. I feel truly blessed that I have been given the opportunity to perform with so many talented gentlemen.”

Despite being the least-experienced, Buck That! dazzled the crowd with their high energy set. The group received the only standing ovation of the night and was crowned Quarterfinal Champion while also taking home top honors for best choreography, given to Grant Buddy Gannon, and best musical arrangement, given to Douglas Brunner.

“It’s surreal. It’s such a huge accomplishment for any group, but especially for a group just under two years old. It’s a magnificent feeling,” said John Flesher, a second-year city and regional planning major.

In addition to Baird and Flesher, the engineering and architecture student members of Buck That! are: D.W. Routte (city and regional planning), David Rutz, (mechanical engineering and German), David Busch (aeronautical and astronautical engineering), Keshav Swaminathan (aeronautical and astronautical engineering), Philip Bennetch (city and regional planning) and Dorian Lackey (architecture).

Following the Midwest Quarterfinal, Buck That! traveled to the ICCA Semifinals in St. Louis, Missouri on March 24 where they competed against 11 other groups.

For a more detailed account of their debut ICCA performance, visit, which followed and documented Buck That! on their historic day.