A Cappella Fest Celebrates 20th Anniversary of the Colgate Dischords

Colgate University’s student-run a cappella groups performed at 7 p.m. on April 1 at the Palace Theater in Hamilton as part of the university’s A Cappella Fest. The event featured the Blue Parsley Boys, the Swinging ‘Gates, Colgate Thirteen and the Colgate Dischords and celebrated the Colgate Dischords’ 20th anniversary and their new album “Twenty” in their first A Cappella Fest.

The first to perform was the Blue Parsley Boys, a local a cappella ensemble group that formed in 1998. One member revealed midway through their performance that he had been a member of the Colgate Thirteen as he proudly flaunted a hat that read “Colgate 13.” They explained that Gospel Music had always been close to their hearts, so they began the festivities with the song “Bound for Jubilee.” Comedic amusement soon turned into admiration, and at the end of their performance, they received a standing ovation.

The Swinging ‘Gates, an all-women group founded in 1974, was the second group to perform. 

Swinging ‘Gates fan and first-year Jack Hyams went with six companions who all had friends in The Swinging ‘Gates and wanted to support them.

“My favorite song [they performed] was probably ‘Video Games,’ but ‘Halo’ was great too,” Hyams said.

First-year Bridget Looby, a member of the Swinging ‘Gates, explained what being an a cappella performer means to her and the significance of the A Cappella Fest. 

“Before I set foot on campus, I knew I wanted to continue to be involved in music at Colgate, and I’m so fortunate that I chose a cappella,” Looby said. “Although it is an extracurricular group, every member has a passion for singing that I haven’t seen anywhere else. The excitement I get from seeing these girls on campus or in rehearsal is unmatched, and we consider ourselves lucky to be so busy this year with concerts and events! I believe this is the first-ever a cappella fest, and it was so amazing to use the performance facilities in Hamilton for the first time. We felt so connected and appreciated by the great Hamilton community, and I hope we do more events like this in the future!” 

The third group to perform was the Colgate Thirteen, which is the oldest a cappella group at Colgate and boasts nearly a million views on Spotify.

The Colgate Dischords took the final performance to celebrate their 20th anniversary and new album “Twenty.” They ended the show with the song “Mykonos” by the Fleet Foxes.

First-year Lucie Magel also explained why she enjoyed the festivities.

“The a cappella performances were all so inspiring, and seeing the Blue Parsley Boys performing as well as all the other groups was a great thing to watch and see a new part of the Colgate community,” Magel said. “The hospitality of the Palace Theater was great, and the stage was a great setup.”

The festival drew the Hamilton community together, with the audience consisting of quite a few Hamilton locals as well as an ice cream stand from Maxwells Chocolates & Ice Cream. It may have been the first A Cappella Fest, but it doesn’t seem like it’ll be the last.