Singing in Sync

Hannah Guy

he new school year has begun and Colgate is already buzzing with the events and shows that will fill the calendar all year. At 7:30 p.m. Monday night students were treated to the first a cappella concert of the school year. Although all of the four a cappella groups (The Colgate Thirteen, The Swinging Gates, The Resolutions and the Dischords) performed at an orientation presentation over the weekend, this is the first true concert open to all students and focusing solely on these groups. This concert was special not only by virtue of being the first, but also for presenting all four of the groups. Though they all can be heard year round, they do not often perform together because each group has their own specialties and commitments.

The chapel supported a large crowd both on the main floor and in the balcony. Students of every class showed up to enjoy the hour- long concert. Especially prominent in the crowd were the friends of performers who served as cheerleaders for the evening, applauding loudly and cheering the names of many of the singers. Others were there merely to enjoy some of Colgate’s musical offerings.

For first-year Kevin Blank, the performance during orientation was what encouraged him to attend this concert.

“We heard them during orientation and they were really good,” he said. Blank described the evening as highly entertaining and impressive. From the response of the audience, who not only applauded but also joined in to clap along with several songs, it seemed many shared his feelings.

Each of the groups performed three songs, offering a sampling of their repertoires and displaying their differences. Certain differences may seem obvious, especially among the all male Thirteen and all female Gates, but differences among the sounds are detectable as well.

The Thirteen and the Gates, the two oldest groups have a more classic a cappella sound with four part harmonies and more traditional song choices. The Resolutions included some interesting rhythms and have a more percussive sound, as did the Dischords who featured some impressive beat boxing.

The groups presented a mix of songs, from the Thirteen’s performance of “You’ve Lost that Loving Feeling” to the Resolutions’ compilation of OneRepublic’s “Apologize” and Justin Timberlake’s “Lovestoned.” In between were performances of Radiohead’s “Black Star,” U2’s “Running to Stand Still,” and Roberta Flack’s “Killing Me Softly.” The Gates’ performance of “Be My Baby” drew a particularly enthusiastic response from the audience as the group serenaded a first-year student who seemed to enjoy himself quite a bit, even going so far as to offer a kiss to the Gates’ senior Jenn Lee.

Senior Jill Kinton, a three year member of the Resolutions, was pleased with the final product and expressed what appeared to be the feeling of all the night’s performers.

“It’s a lot of fun when we have all the groups together,” Kinton said.

All of the groups seemed to enjoy themselves and each one offered a welcome (or welcome back) to Colgate. As strong a tradition as a cappella is on campus, this concert served as a great start to this year’s arts calendar.