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Hitting a high note

It’s been a good year for the Nor’easters.

The student a cappella group, formed in 1998 as the university’s co-ed voices-only ensemble, released its first professionally recorded album and won a free album through a contest run by the group’s recording studio, The Vocal Company.

The group’s third album, “III,” released earlier this year, was the first to be professionally recorded.

“The albums we’d done before were more like yearbook albums, all student-recorded and student-produced,” said David Crozier, group president and  fourth-year electrical and computer engineering major. “But since we’re starting to get national attention, we thought it was time to get something professional together.”

The Nor’easters finished in seventh place at the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella in each of the last two years and were included on a top collegiate compilation album, Voices Only 2012. Enter the slick sounding “III,” the follow-up to the Nor’easters’ first two albums, “Don’t Blame us for the Weather” and “Aural Fixation.”

Members of the Nor’easters plan to spend this year recording tracks for the ensemble’s fourth album, which is slated for a fall 2013 release.

According to Crozier, having access to a recording studio gives the a cappella group a chance to expand its repertoire beyond modern pop rock tunes. “For a live performance you have to think ‘How will this affect the audience?’ and how things like dynamics affect the song,” he said. “But with the album, we were able to explore things we just couldn’t do live.”

For instance, the Nor’easters’ rendition of Janelle Monae’s “Cold War,” which is featured on “III,” takes advantage of digital music technology to create a dubstep-style sound.

“III” can be purchased on iTunes or streamed on Spotify.