Singing Their Goodbyes

 

 

Megan Richards

From traditional melodies to contemporary pop songs, the Colgate 13 and the Swinging ‘Gates, Colgate’s two single-sex a cappella groups, bridged the gap between various musical genres at their Jamboree concert on Friday, April 17. One of their two major concerts of the year, the Jamboree is a longstanding tradition that allows the senior members to say goodbye to their respective groups and supportive fans.

The Swinging ‘Gates were the first to take the stage and started their performance with an older song called, “A Pitchpipe, A Song and A Smile.”

“‘A Pitchpipe, A Song and A Smile’ is a classic a cappella song, which unfortunately has not been performed by the ‘Gates in many years. I thought it would add some variety and nostalgic appeal to our typically contemporary set,” the musical leader of the ‘Gates, senior Meredith O’Leary, said.

Senior Jenn Lee, the administrative leader, also commented on the song selection.

“We learned [this song] to both add to our current repertoire and also to sing with our alumnae in June,” Lee said.

Lee and O’Leary are an unstoppable team. Lee takes care of the business side of the group, while O’Leary is in charge of the musical aspect, including conducting and choosing the repertoire of songs.

“I have loved working with Jennifer Lee. She has a great work ethic and with herassistance, I feel that we have accomplishedmuch–from great performances to charitable contributions,” O’Leary said.

Since both girls are seniors this year, along with Beth Kaskan and Nickesha David, the Jamboree was especially meaningful for them, as it was the last time they would be working with each other and leading the rest of the group.

“For me, the best part of being in the ‘Gates has been getting to know everyone in the group and working hard together to perform well,” Lee said. “We spend a lot of time together, and we have created a really unique ability to work together and also have a lot of fun.”

The ‘Gates’ last song, “Kiss Me,” was just arranged this semester and added a contemporary pop flavor to the program. Overall, the ‘Gates pulled off an incredible performance.

The Colgate 13 followed the ‘Gates with an equally diverse and challenging program. With a repertoire of over 70 songs, the 13 certainly had a lot to choose from. Senior Andrew Krulewitz, the leader of the Colgate 13, reflected on his position.

“Leading the 13 is extremely rewarding. When you can get a music group to really be engaging and to put on a good show, that’s when you know all the work we are putting in is paying off,” Krulewitz said.

Seniors Michael Banks and Will Fitzgerald shared in Krulewitz’s nostalgia, as it was their last major concert with the Colgate 13, as well.

Sophomore Tyler Alexander, the current Business Manager and next year’s January Tour Manager, reflected on the preparation for the event.

“We all worked really hard to learn the new songs in a short amount of time and I think everyone was very happy with the outcome,” Alexander said.

During the concert, the two groups talked about the large emphasis they have placed on philanthropic efforts by performing free concerts at schools that could not normally afford these nationally renowned groups and holding various benefit concerts.

This year, the two groups helped support the Jambo Jipya Charter School in Mtwappa, Kenya by holding benefit concerts and fundraisers. At one of these concerts, the groups raised close to $700 for the school.

The year has clearly been a success for both groups, as exemplified in the culmination of their year’s work at last week’s Jamboree.