Colgate’s annual a cappella Showcase started the school year off on a great note on Friday, August 26. The concert, held in the Memorial Chapel at 9 p.m., featured songs by five of Colgate’s a cappella groups: The Swingin’ Gates, The Colgate Thirteen, The Resolutions (“The Resos”), The Mantiphondrakes and The Dischords.
The concert began with The Swingin’ Gates, Colgate’s all-female a cappella group founded in 1974. They shared their rendition of “Fallin’” by Alicia Keys and a special version of “Be My Baby” by The Ronettes. For their second song, they selected a lucky young man in the audience to be serenaded on stage, a tradition of The Swingin’ Gates. He seemed to cherish the moment, charming both the audience and the members of The Swingin’ Gates with his stage presence.
This was followed by The Dischords, who livened up the crowd with their performance of Outkast’s “Hey Ya” and an emotional “Happy Ending” by MIKA. Their unity was clear, visible in their coordinated outfits.
Next up were The Resolutions with their ever-popular “You Go Down Smooth” by Lake Street Dive. Following this was arguably the best song of the night, an incredible tribute to the late David Bowie in the form of their rendition of the classic “Space Oddity.” In this song, The Resos truly were able to use the lyrics and their harmonies to tell a story, while also capturing the cosmic talent of Bowie that will always live on.
At this point in the evening, every performance was met with a resounding round of applause; the entire audience loved it.
“The Resos’ version of Bowie’s Space Oddity was breathtaking. It was a perfect tribute to the late artist,” sophomore Emily Kahn said.
One of the final two groups was the Colgate Thirteen, who arrived to the Chapel that evening in their own limousine, a custom designed and built Ford F-550. They treated the crowd to a medley that included “Doin’ It Right,” “Get Lucky” and “Lose Yourself to Dance,” all by Daft Punk. This all-male a cappella group is the second-oldest collegiate a cappella group in the United States, and they have been entertaining countless audiences for over seventy years.
Finally, The Mantiphondrakes, a co-ed group, ended the evening with an incredibly unique sound as they gave electrifying performances of “Wake Up” by Arcade Fire, followed by “Sweet Disposition” by The Temper Trap.
It was astounding to see so many students who excel academically and also excel musically. In all of these performances, each of the groups were able to use their voices as instruments, harmonizing to create something magical.
“I was really impressed with not only our classmates’ singing talent but also their sense of humor and ability to put on really enjoyable performances,” sophomore Oneida Shushe said.
Overall, the concert was a fabulous treat for the student body on our first weekend back at Colgate, and a great experience for members of the Class of 2020 to get a taste of each of the groups’ unique sounds.