It is a tradition for Colgate’s five a cappella groups to showcase their hard work for their family and friends by having concerts during Colgate’s annual Family Weekend. This year, the Colgate Resolutions, the Swinging ’Gates and the Colgate Thirteen held concerts on Friday, October 27, while the Colgate Dischords held a concert on Saturday, October 28. The Mantiphondrakes opted out of publicly advertising its concert, only informing friends and family of the October 28 performance, and will have a full concert on November 10.
The Colgate Resolutions held its concert in the Colgate Memorial Chapel at 6:15 p.m. and performed seven songs from different musical genres. The concert opened with the senior musical director Ben Phelps singing “Dancing in the Moonlight” by King Harvest. Afterwards, Phelps and the Resos’ president, senior Emily Palermo, took center stage to introduce the group.
There was a brief interlude where the new members performed a small skit for the audience, as per Colgate Resolutions tradition. First-years Charlotte Clifford, Avery Brook, Lexi Clegg, Zack Kraushaar, Mark Rubakh and Simon Lee acted out how each of the Resos would die if they were in The Hunger Games franchise.
The well-dressed group bowed to a standing ovation, and then promptly filed out with the audience to let the Swinging ’Gates and the Colgate Thirteen prepare the space for their joint concert happening later that evening.
An hour later, people again filled the Chapel to hear from the all-female Swinging ’Gates and the all-male Colgate Thirteen. Friday’s joint concert is one of the two annual concerts performed by both single-gender groups. The concert featured both impressive vocals and amusing skits.
This joint concert began at 8 p.m. with 16 members of the Swinging ’Gates taking the stage to open with a rendition of the 1963 Chiffons classic “One Fine Day,” followed by six more engaging songs such as Etta James’ famous power ballad “At Last” and Rihanna’s pop hit “Love on the Brain.”
After the Swinging ’Gates concluded its performance, the Colgate Thirteen took the stage, opening with a Daft Punk medley arranged by the world-renowned a cappella group Pentatonix. The medley was followed by eight more songs, which covered a wide range of musical genres.
The Thirteen’s performance also featured an interlude, during which new inductees performed a skit depicting a student and parent’s tour of Colgate. With jokes made referencing John Jug and students’ studying habits, the skit highlighted certain Colgate stereotypes.
First-year new member of the Thirteen Nathaniel Parkmen reflected on learning that he was going to perform in this skit.
“The [group leaders] told us a week ago, ‘The skit is a thing. You’re going to do it, write it and present it to us on Monday.’ We wrote it over the weekend and have been practicing all week. It was a lot of fun,” Parkman said.
Following the skit, the upperclassmen presented the new members with maroon suit jackets to commemorate their official induction into the organization, a long-standing tradition in the Colgate Thirteen.
Senior co-leader of the Swinging ’Gates Sydney O’Connor shared her thoughts on the group’s weekend performance.
“I thought tonight was really, really successful. It’s always fun singing in the chapel, and it was a great turnout. Personally, I have a cold but it was still so much fun,” O’Connor said.
The night proved emotional for O’Connor, who was one of many to recognize the performance as one of her last at Colgate.
“We have a similar [performance] in the spring, but this is the more serious one so it’s very sentimental.” O’Connor said.
The last a cappella concert of the weekend was held in Love Auditorium on Saturday, October 28, featuring the Colgate Dischords. 16 members of the group assembled before an excited audience, and opened with an energetic performance of “Love Shack” by the B-52’s. Junior music co-directors John Buttner and Alex Goldych welcomed the audience to the concert.
After several songs, the upperclassmen Dischords joined the audience in the seats, leaving first-years Miranda Smith, McDonnell and Gabby Gallant to perform an original song to the tune of George Ezra’s “Budapest,” in which the new members sang about inside jokes among the group.
Several more songs followed the first-year original performance, such as the performance of Ed Sheeran’s “Give Me Love,” one of the most impressive of the night, performed by Goldych with a haunting vocal addition by senior Carlie McCumber, who stood behind the group to provide her powerful soprano vocals. Although McCumber was hidden from view, she was definitely heard by all, and was cheered on by some exuberant friends. The last song of the night was an extremely upbeat version of Fountains of Wayne’s goofy song “Stacy’s Mom,” featuring a solo performance from senior George Aldrich.
It was clear the group was having as much fun with its concert as the audience was listening to them.