A Jammin’ Jamboree



While Colgate battles to reconcile tradition with the future, it seems the one untouchable tradition is the appreciation of a cappella music. Tonight’s Jambo festival, at 8 p.m. in Memorial Chapel, features two Colgate a cappella classics, The Swinging ‘Gates and the Colgate Thirteen, as they showcase the newest additions to their respective repertoires of songs.The Colgate Thirteen, the all-male a cappella group, is Colgate’s longest standing tradition of student singers. The spirited entertainers, who give over 50 performances each semester and travel more than 14,000 miles a year, follow in the footsteps of 60 years of predecessors. Indeed, Colgate Thirteen members old and new are united not only by their love of entertaining, but by various traditions. Such traditions include the “Grunt” – an affectionately named stretch Suburban that has been hauling the men around the country for the past 20 years – and the Thirteen House, located at 13 College Street in Hamilton, where alumni, members and their friends and family congregate. Just in case you forget this group’s lucky number, they conveniently display their key and shield on their blazers and album cover, each emblem adorned by the number 13 and recognized as symbols of the group since their founding. Since 1942, the Colgate Thirteen has recorded a total of 22 albums in addition to performing across the United States and overseas, singing the National Anthem at Super Bowl XIII, appearing on The Tonight Show and entertaining presidents and royalty. With a repertoire of over 100 songs and their combination of fun and hard work, the Colgate Thirteen embodies Colgate tradition at its finest.Joining the Thirteen at Jambo is The Swinging ‘Gates, Colgate’s only all-female a cappella group. Dating back to 1974, it was founded by a group of women with help from the Colgate Thirteen. At Jambo 2005 they will release five new songs and a new live CD called One Night Stands that was recorded live on their January Tour. Their annual January Tour is a two week trip over Christmas break; the 2005 excursion included performances in Long Island, Washington D.C., Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Boston. The group currently has seven seniors, ten juniors, seven sophomores and nine first-years, with six members studying abroad. During each semester the group performs three small concerts, featuring soloists from each of the sophomore, junior and senior classes. Aside from Jambo, their biggest concert of the year, the ‘gates share their music with fans at football games, alumni club meetings and local high schools, in addition to singing the national anthem at all home hockey games. Their feature performance in the fall is the annual Parents’ Weekend concert, when they perform with the Resolutions and the Colgate Thirteen. Be sure to look out for the seniors’ farewell feature concert — location soon to be announced. The Colgate Resolutions, more commonly known as the “Resos,” were founded Spring Party Weekend in 1992. Founders Jason Corrigan, Marissa Bond and Mark Giranda saw the need for a co-ed group to balance the pre-existing single sex groups. While the Resos do not participate in Jambo, the spring Akapellafest is their primary concert in addition to First-Year Orientation, Family Weekend and April Visit Days performances throughout the school year. Current members of the group, in conjunction with alumni, work to arrange the music and make selections for the group’s expansive repertoire of 85 songs; the current members like to challenge themselves with five to ten new songs every year, gradually replacing more out of date tunes. Like the other a cappella groups on campus, the Resos’ dedication and rigorous practice schedule of six hours a week have been rewarded with a strong fan base and abundant adoration by Colgate’s cultural consumers. Their concerts, which always feature all 21 members in a set combining old and new songs, have a cult following. According to senior Kate Rousseau, the group’s musical director, “we have amazing alums who come out to support us, along with our parents and friends.” Their tenacious hold of tradition does not stop these savvy singers from moving forward. Just this year they added a new feature to the group by accepting first-year Adam Coccari, who serves solely as a percussionist, and every other year they record and release a CD with all of their newest songs. Available at the Colgate Bookstore, the Resos released their sixth album, On Our Toes, last fall.The last in Colgate a cappella is also the newest group, the Dischords, started in the Fall of 2001. This fun loving co-ed group was created by a group of juniors as an alternative to the pre-existing a cappella scene and evokes a youthful energy and love of singing. The Dischords are unique in relation to the other groups because each member is affiliated with Colgate’s music department, and the group’s founders worked in conjunction with the music department to start the group. Their repertoire is perhaps the most diverse, including everything from Lifehouse’s “Everything,” to the Bible hymn “Mary Wore Three Links of Chain.” The Dischord’s biggest concert is Acappalooza, set for April 15 this year in the Chapel. They hope to release their first CD before graduation. Additional information on any of the featured singing groups, including members and performance schedules, can be found on their respective websites, easily accessed from the Colgate home page.