The Octāves is a student-run, all-male a cappella group from the University of Richmond. It is the school's oldest a cappella group, forming in the spring of 1990. Since its inception, The Octāves have recorded ten studio albums, its most recent being More Love Faster, released in the fall of 2010; and have embarked on several tours taking them all over the United States.
The name "The Octāves" came from the musical term "octave", and served as a clever reference to the school mascot, the Richmond Spiders (spiders have eight legs).
Founding members included Scott Edwards ('92), Tripp Hudgins ('92), Rich Miller ('92), John Murphy ('92), Chris O'Brien ('92), Travis Allison ('94), TJ Moffett ('94), Matt Zemon ('94), and Jake Dwinnell ('94). Cathy Chamblee and Amy Craver served as musical directors. Dr. James Erb, the original faculty advisor, arranged a version of "Shenandoah" specifically for the group, which has since become a staple of choral repertoire across the nation. It is still frequently sung by the group today, and when Octāves alumni are present in the audience, they are invited to join the group on stage to sing along.
The Octāves perform at several on-campus events each year--most notably the Family Weekend concerts in the Fall semester and the Octāves-hosted Spring Fever in the Spring semester, both with the other University of Richmond a cappella ensembles. They also frequently sing "The Star-Spangled Banner" at Richmond sporting events and contribute to charity events that happen on campus.
The group is open to perform at a variety of other off-campus occasions, including private events for businesses and collaborations with other a cappella groups. They can be contacted for such purposes on their official website.
On September 26, 1992, the Octāves performed at a Phillies doubleheader in front of 20,000 people. They sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" and "The Longest Time" by Billy Joel.
On March 19, 2011, the Octāves celebrated their 20th anniversary in conjunction with Spring Fever XVII. Several songs from former generations of the group were revived for the concert, and 25 Octāves alumni returned to Richmond to join the current lineup on stage. Coca-Cola sponsored the event.