“First-Year Welcome” A Cappella Concert Kicks Off A Cappella Season


The Mantiphondrakes, Colgate’s newest a cappella group, impressed the audience with covers of “Send My Love (To Your New Lover)” and “Iscariot.”

Tristan Niskanen, Maroon-News Staff

The Colgate a cappella ensembles kicked off their year on Friday, September 1, in the Colgate Memorial Chapel. The chapel filled up quickly for the 8 p.m. show. Whispers roamed throughout the pews as the students anxiously anticipated the night of a cappella

“I hope it’s going to be amazing. They were great last year and I expect nothing less this year,” sophomore Catria Gadwah-Meaden said. 

At 8 p.m. sharp, the Mantiphondrakes took the stage. Their first song was Adele’s “Send My Love (To Your New Lover).” Senior Lauren Pitzer’s voice complemented the stellar percussion and groovy harmonies. Next, senior Michael DiGiorio took on “Iscariot” by Walk the Moon. Both performances were arranged by Valesca Polycarpe ’17. The group’s enthusiasm was contagious and heart-warming. The Mantiphondrakes embodied the idea of an a cappella group – having the ability to bring together many voices and turn it into one beautiful mix. 

The Dischords opened their set with “Timshel,” a Mumford & Sons song that felt akin to a religious hymn. The Dischords blended their voices into one and junior Alex Goldych, sophomore Catherine Ferri and senior Tiffany Castillo sang solos. Next, the Dischords changed the pace; they chose Corinne Bailey Rae’s “Put Your Records On” as their second song. There was an air of conviviality among the audience and members of the Dischords alike. “Put Your Records On” was a spotlight moment for senior beatboxer George Aldrich, who performed an energetic hand dance and kept the beat going as senior Carlie McCumber wowed the crowd with her solo.

The Colgate Resolutions have had a lot to celebrate lately: their 25th anniversary just passed, and they have also finished recording a new album. After a fun-filled set from the Dischords, the Colgate Resolutions performed two mesmerizing songs. Cheers roared through the chapel as senior Emily Palermo came to center stage, but all were silent once she began singing Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black.” The audience was awestruck by Palermo’s voice and its similarity to Winehouse’s. The Resolutions’ second song was Billy Joel’s “Vienna.” Senior Jacob Greiff captivated the audience with his raspy voice that left everyone in a New York state of mind. 

A cappella night ended with the two single-gender groups, the Swinging ‘Gates and the Colgate 13. The Swinging ‘Gates is Colgate’s only all-female a cappella group. The women began with a fun cover of Bonnie Raitt’s “Something to Talk About.” Senior Sydney O’Connor sang the solo for the energetic rendition. Next, the Swinging ‘Gates performed one of the most entertaining songs of the night. The ‘Gates announced that senior Alyssa Fritz’s boyfriend recently broke up with her, but she had her eye on a new boy in the crowd. Fritz called her new interest to the stage, where she proceeded to serenade him with a cover of “Be My Baby” by The Ronettes. The Swinging ‘Gates had everyone smiling, laughing and enjoying the cool summer night during this hilarious performance. 

The all-male Colgate 13 took the stage last, and performed two songs arranged by junior Drew O’Hara. They began their set with Jidenna’s “Bambi,” which was led by senior and group leader Tyler Maxie. They then dove into a clever medley of Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” and Khalid’s “Location.” The audience instantly recognized both songs and it seemed as if everyone was grooving along with the Colgate 13 like they were wearing the maroon blazers themselves. The dual-soloists for this medley, juniors Drew O’Hara and Jeremy Kossoff, delivered a great performance to close out the night. The performance was impressive and it is amazing how these students also juggle their school activities and other extracurriculars. 

“I’m excited for everything this year. I honestly have so many things lined up this year, from leading the Colgate 13 to directing ‘This Is Not a Play About Sex’ to choreographing MELANATED. I’ve fostered so many different communities so it’s exciting to see them thrive during my last year here,” Maxie said.

After the show, everyone filtered outside to hang out around audition sign-up tables for the various a cappella groups. Members of the groups played music, danced and sang to attract prospective singers.

Laughter and good vibes were everywhere as students left their seats to try and exit the chapel through the horde of people. It was a great Friday night and a nice start to the a cappella season. 

 Contact Tristan Niskanen at [email protected].