Belting Tunes and Bonding: A Capella on Tour!

Over winter break, three of Colgate University’s a cappella groups—the Colgate 13, the Swinging Gates and the Colgate Resolutions—traveled across the country to perform their music for alumni, friends and strangers. These performances that took place in January, nicknamed the JanTour, take place during the two weeks leading up to the spring semester. JanTour is a tradition for each of these groups, however it had been canceled due to COVID-19 for the past two years. Members from each of these groups shared their experience driving and performing around the United States with some of their best friends. 

Steven Torre is a member of the Colgate 13 and a sophomore from Kings Park, N.Y. considering an international relations concentration. Torre has been a member of the Colgate 13 since his first year on campus, and he is also involved in Club Triathlon and the Pre-Law Society. Torre shared his favorite memory from his trip, which included 25 performances in cities such as Chicago, San Francisco and Denver. 

“My favorite memory from this trip is definitely the alumni club in San Francisco. It was Friday the 13th, so we had over a hundred Colgate alumni, friends and family all come to watch us perform,” he said. 

Torre has been elected the business manager of the Colgate 13, which will require him to plan more trips for the group in the upcoming months. He hopes the performances he plans will be just as beneficial for the group’s bonding as the JanTour. 

“Driving all the way across the country with the same group of people will inevitably bring you closer together. I feel incredibly bonded to all the guys who were on the trip, and I am so excited to travel with them more in the future,” Torre shared.

The Colgate 13 will be having a Valentine’s Day concert in the Coop TV room on Tuesday, Feb. 14. All Colgate students and faculty are welcome to attend. 

Rebecca Viner is a junior from Nashville, TN, a political science and religion concentrator and a member of the Swinging Gates (Gates). Viner has been a member of her the Gates since her first year, and she is also involved in Club Soccer. Viner shared her favorite performance from the trip, where the group performed twice daily. 

“My favorite performance was the alumni performance in New York. Many of the Gates alumni and recent [Colgate graduates] were there, and it was so fun to catch up. The crowd was super large and the venue was small, so we were all packed in tightly. We felt super supported by the Colgate community during this concert,” she said. 

Viner also felt that this trip allowed the Gates to further bond with one another. 

“It was definitely a great bonding experience. You get to know people so much better when traveling together, so we grew much closer since we spent so much time together. Since I was abroad in the fall, I found this trip [especially] helpful to reconnect after a long period of time away from the Swinging Gates,” shared Viner. 

The Gates have a Sophomore Pub on Tuesday, Feb. 7 at The Coop, and are doing serenades on Friday, Feb. 10 for Valentine’s Day. Auditions for the group also begin next week. 

Jane Flynn is a senior from Irvington, NY, a psychology concentrator and a member of the Resolutions (Resos). Flynn has been a member of the Resos since her first year at Colgate, and is now the president of the group. Flynn shared her favorite performance from the trip.

“My personal favorite performance is our show at Don’t Tell Mama in New York City. We have been performing at this venue during the JanTour for almost 10 years. There are always so many Reso alumni able to come to this performance, along with friends and family of the current members. This show always has the best and loudest audience and is so much fun for us all to perform at. Especially with [COVID-19] preventing JanTour from happening the past two years, it was that much more special to see and be able to reconnect with past Reso members,” Flynn said. 

Flynn echoed the sentiments of Torre and Viner concerning the opportunity for bonding the JanTour provides. 

“Being together almost 24/7, it is kind of hard not to bond with everyone. Even though we spend a lot of time practicing and preparing for our performance that day, there is also a lot of down time where we all just hang out, talk, play games and really get to know each other outside of being at Colgate. It is also super exciting getting to meet the family and friends we hear so much about that are able to come see our shows,” Flynn expressed. 

The Resos have a performance coming up at Flour and Salt on Oct. 10 and their spring semester concert (Akfest) will be on Apr. 15.

Congratulations are in order to these a cappella groups for a successful JanTour, marked by outstanding performances, new alumni connections and closer friendships.