Students, friends and family braved the rainy night as they made their way to the Mantiphondrakes’ annual spring concert Thursday, April 6 in the Colgate Memorial Chapel. Fourteen members sang for the concert, each wearing warm colors and a single brightly-colored flower. The group’s set list contained a variety of contemporary songs, ranging from classic pop favorites like Maroon 5 to video game classics like Final Fantasy VII and everything in between.
“We strive to have a variety of songs in the set list,” senior Gian Sepulveda said. “Members in the group have different tastes in music, so we work to reflect that in the set list.”
The group started the night with Bastille’s “Send Them Off!” featuring a solo by Sepulveda. Afterwards, they kicked up the beat with Vampire Weekend’s “A-Punk” featuring senior Kayla Sturgeon as the soloist. Later on, Mantiphondrakes President Jason Alexander introduced the group’s two new members, first-year Juan Saenz and sophomore Christina Towse, who made their debut sharing a solo in a Michael Jackson classic, “Man in the Mirror.”
All of the seniors in the group had solos throughout the night, having the spotlight one last time to exhibit their vocal talents. One particular solo that the group was especially pleased with was their melodious arrangement of Walk the Moon’s “Iscariot,” featuring senior Steven Nave as a soloist.
“We were all really happy for Steven with this song,” junior Michael DiGiorgio said. “This gave Steven a chance to show off a side of his voice that he had not really shown before. He was always the group’s dedicated bass, so this song gave him a chance to showcase his upper range.”
For their swan song, the Mantiphondrakes performed a unique five-way mashup, combining “In Dreams” from Lord of the Rings, “Lost” by Coldplay, “Baba Yetu” composed by Christopher Tin and Canon in D, and “With or Without You” by U2. No one was expecting the songs to beautifully blend into a new and original experience as gracefully as they did, due to their eclectic origins. The group infused the harmonies and solos in these songs seamlessly to prove that their young age as an ensemble doesn’t diminish from their overflowing talent.
When asked about their favorite arrangement of the night, DiGiorgio revealed that it was their final melody of the night that was originally created by Mantiphondrakes alumna Karl Uy ’16.
“It is a group-centric song that gets everybody, both the Mantis and the audience, into it,” DiGiorgio said.
Just when the concert seemed to end after that fantastic mashup, audience
members enthusiastically chanted, “Encore!” and the Mantiphondrakes took the stage for Arcade Fire’s, “Wake Up.”
As the encore reached its final note and the concert came to an end, audience
members left energized and fulfilled from a night of amazing music.
“It was the best Mantis performance I’ve heard to date. I thought that the altos and sopranos were particularly strong, and that the large amount of solos really demonstrated the individual talents of many of the singers,” sophomore Eli Bergen said.
“It has been an absolute joy being a member of the Mantis for the past few years and being the group’s Musical Director for this academic year,” senior Valesca Polycarpe. “Thursday night’s concert was a wonderful culmination of all the hard work, energy and dedication we’ve put into our music, both during the semester and over the years. I only wish I had more time to sing with the most amazing group of people I’ve met.”