United States Air Force Academy

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A cappella with a Force

In the Stairwell

Image of "In the Stairwell" performing live.
Image of "In the Stairwell" performing live.
Image of "In the Stairwell" performing live.
Image of "In the Stairwell" performing live.
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“In the Stairwell” formed in 2004 by a group of freshmen who, due to the discipline and rigors of their “doolie” year, sang together in the only place they could – in the stairwell.

“In the Stairwell” is the Academy’s premier all-male a cappella group that may have started in a dormitory stairwell, but have gone on to perform for millions across the country, including the President of the United States. With approximately 20 members, the group practices each week and performs music from contemporary hits to the national anthem for official functions and entertainment on base and in the community.

“In the Stairwell” open for the Colorado Avalanche, L.A. Kings hockey game at Falcon Stadium.


Club Accomplishments

NHL Opening Anthem On Feb. 15, 2020, “In the Stairwell” opened for the Colorado Avalanche and L.A. Kings in a Stadium Series game at Falcon Stadium. The group sang the “National Anthem,” featuring alumni, 1st Lt. Ben Hightower. Click here to watch.

America’s Got Talent Debut On Sept. 12, 2017, “In the Stairwell,” was voted into the “America’s Got Talent” semifinals. Click here to watch.

Collegiate Competitions The Academy’s a capella group has competed twice in the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella, made famous in the Pitch Perfect films, placing second in the Midwest Regional Quarterfinals in 2016.

White House Performance In Dec. of 2011, the group took their a capella talents to the White House to perform for President Barack Obama and guests. When the administration heard of their musical talents they formally invited them to perform. Click here to watch them prepare.

Becoming a Member

Each fall, try-outs are held after school for a couple days. Prospective members sing two pieces of music in front of the group. The two songs usually consist of (1) a personal favorite song and (2) a song highlighting the voice and range of the cadet trying out.

Once cadets are accepted into the group, they are expected to attend practices that take place 3 times per week for approximately 1.5 hours. Practice times may be extended in preparation for official performances.