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Meet the Hotplates!

The Liquid Hotplates is a show-stopping, head-turning, pimptastic co-ed a cappella group at the University of California, Davis. They perform all genres of music (arranged by members), including pop, rock, country, R&B, hip hop and rap, and more. Members of the Liquid Hotplates consist of a diverse and fun-loving group of musicians possessing a wide range of musical experiences and strengths. The hotplates perform all over Davis, including on campus, downtown, at various charity and philanthropy events throughout the year, on Picnic Day, Relay for Life, and more. They also travel great lengths to spread their musical awesomeness throughout California, from the hills of Los Angeles to the ICCAs at UC Berkeley to Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco. In June 2010, LHP recorded their fourth CD, titled "Dishin' it out." Stay tuned for it's summer 2010 release, as it's coming soon!


The Liquid Hotplates were officially "born" in the Fall of 2000, although many of the circumstances leading to the formation of the group occurred during the University of California-Davis school year of 1999-2000. The UCD Music Department sought to create a jazz octet, the two goals of which were to give a measure of jazz vocal experience to those who were selected to participate, and to perform at the department’s several yearly functions. The group was called The Davis Aces, a deliberately-conservative name chosen by Scott Whitacre, the voice teacher who proposed the idea (and who was given the nod to run the group). Unfortunately (and unknown to all at the time), this was to be Whitacre’s last year of teaching voice lessons at Davis, and while a series of auditions (strung out over the course of several months due to tepid student interest) had produced nine eager and worthy candidates for membership in the Aces, Whitacre had to turn over the project to one of the auditionees, Steve Geller, in March 2000—before a formal rehearsal had ever been held. Geller was a graduate student in the Music Department, and he had co-directed and arranged music for collegiate and professional level a capella groups in the past, so Whitacre figured Geller to be the best option for the perpetuation of the group.

The number of singers willing to continue with what was now a student-led project held firmly at five, and these five took it upon themselves to invite (in the case of the group’s first two basses) and audition all remaining components for a successful ensemble. Some soul-searching was in order; observing the difficulty (throughout the previous year) in putting together a capable jazz group made the members feel that perhaps a pop/rock group might be a more successful (a bit more “Friends” and a bit less “Frasier,” as one put it), and in turn it was decided that a 12-16 person group might better fit the needs of a pop/rock collegiate a capella style (such a number range was the norm for many groups around the country). No longer being bound in any substantial way by the Music Department, the group set its sights on touring, recording, and other ambitious projects.

Among the last changes was the name. It was decided that a group that wanted to perform all around the greater Sacramento and Bay Areas should not have a name as provincial as the Davis Aces, and in one memorable evening, founding members Geller, Elenka Proulx and Katy Williams (as well as, by happenstance, future group recording engineer Eric Ruud, who had been one of the original nine from Whitacre’s audition process) sat down to brainstorm a new name. Many names, ranging from the politically incorrect to the surreal to the pop-culture-referential were proposed. At one point, the short-lived MTV show “Liquid Television” was mentioned, and those present remarked approvingly at how the title was at the same time provocative and essentially meaningless. “Liquid Television” was carried through free association to “Liquid Karma,” based upon the same principle, but somehow those present saw too much of a link to John Lennon’s anthem “Instant Karma,” and the idea was tweaked once again. One of the members finally said (I paraphrase): “We don’t want to be like MTV, with their new-fangled liquid television high-tech consumerism. We should be like the poor man’s liquid some student in an Eastern European tenement somewhere who cannot afford a brand new liquid television—he can only afford a liquid hotplate on which to cook his ‘Top Ramen’ soup.”

The Liquid Hotplates had their debut performance (with 14 members) in April 2001. The venue was Cafe Roma, a coffee and sandwich shop near the UCD campus. Cafe Roma has since hosted the Hotplates many additional times, the most for a single venue, although the group over the past six years has performed at over thirty different venues, including Delta of Venus, the Farmers Market, the Memorial Union on behalf of the Davis Music Scene, the Davis Art Center, the International House, the Palms Playhouse, theRecreation Pool Lodge, and various venues as part of Picnic Day, the Davis Whole Earth Festival, and grand openings of buildings or other school-wide celebrations. The group has also performed in more then a dozen cities, including Napa, San Fransisco, Sacramento, Pinole, Mammoth Lakes, and Berkeley. This past February (2008) LHP made it to the quarterfinals of the ICCAs hosted in Berkeley, a renowned collegiate a capella competition. The group arranges and performs all their own songs.

The culmination of all aspects of the groups’ efforts have been its three CDs: Told It Equals Hip (2002), Just a Hyphenated Bop?! (2004), and Barring Inclement Weather (2006). Without a specific musical style upon which to build imagery (one of our alumni describes our music as an aggregate of “pop-metal-rap-ballad-classic”), a group with an unusual name has been content to use similarly curious titles to summarize its eclectic output. The first of the two album names was chosen because it is an anagram of “Liquid Hotplates,” and the second was chosen because it was among the basses’ favorite lines to sing in the arrangement of the Dixie Chicks’ “Let ‘Er Rip” (Track 9 on the CD). Although Just a Hyphenated Bop?! is considerably more ambitious, polished (thanks in large part to principal engineer David Pullin) and representative of our sound than was Told It Equals Hip, each album required an enormous commitment from our members, and each mandated a sizable leap forward in the group’s evolution and camaraderie. Barring Inclement Weather is available on the group's website, at Armadillo Music, and at Tower Records.

In 2004, a group of female members founded the all-women's group The Spokes.

Graduating Seniors 2008 at the ICCA Quarterfinals in Berkeley. Feb, '08

The Official Group Photo 2006




  • Jill Perillo '17
  • Rachael Cushing '15
  • Jen Park '15
  • Sydney Kovacs '16


  • Jaimie Wu '14
  • Maddy Dufek '17
  • Alyssa Tran '15
  • Christi Burns


  • Neil Enriquez '14
  • Brian Chiang '14
  • Norman Borgonia '14


  • Gordon Allen '15
  • Wilson Ng '15
  • Johnny Wylie '15
  • Chris Walton '17


  • Rickey Milay '14
  • Chris Chu '13
  • Josh Paz '15
  • Nick Dias '15
  • Jess Walsh '14
  • Tiffany Wang '13
  • Tiana Grant '13
  • Chris Ablaza '12
  • Alyssa Black '12
  • Cameron Brown '12
  • Melissa Cancio '12
  • Rachel De Jesus '12
  • Karin Fujii '12
  • Jasmine Nasser '12
  • Ali Wallace '12
  • Roy Adams '11
  • Mercy Albaran '11
  • Lecreatia Nelson '11
  • Josh Scott '11
  • Zuway Yeh '11
  • Ruben Lizarraga '10
  • Richie Ngo '10
  • Brad Thornton '10
  • Lizzie Tietjen '10
  • Lauren Salmo '10
  • Emily Young '10
  • Pang Chen
  • Tom Dotan
  • Chris Gee
  • Daniele Gusland '07
  • Alex Kloehn
  • Anna Sun
  • Catherine Gloria '09
  • Hal Wolter '08
  • Joe Ferreira '08
  • Marvin Cadiente '08
  • Kevin Man '08
  • Annette Kim '08
  • Steffi Christiana '08
  • Maja Makagon
  • Steve Geller
  • Anne Marie Renna '06
  • Miyako Matsudaira
  • Gaby Jany
  • Nathan Ferguson
  • Davis Hake
  • Amanda Donev
  • Mike Guzman
  • Chris Nucho
  • Alison Eeds
  • Sabrina Fong
  • Courtney Carpenter
  • Teresa Tam
  • Jon Rohde
  • Jonathan LaBarge
  • Anna Brink
  • Sonia Hansra
  • Alex Baker, OD
  • Esther Chon
  • Keith Rode, DVM
  • Katy Williams
  • Melissa Frago