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The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

2023 MusicFest Showcases Student Group Performances for Colgate Day

Allan Crounse

Colgate University hosted its 2023 MusicFest on Friday, Oct. 13, as part of its Homecoming Weekend and Colgate Day celebrations. Embracing and extending the spirit of the already celebratory “Colgate Day,” the concert kicked off shortly after 8:30 p.m. on Whitnall Field and featured three of Colgate’s student a cappella groups: the Mantiphondrakes, the Colgate Dischords and the Colgate 13. A food truck from Rio Grande Tex-Mex Grill was also present for those who had an appetite for more than music.

Each of the groups performed their own mini-concert of two songs. The Mantiphondrakes, who opened the concert, performed “Golden” by Harry Styles and “Little Lies” by Fleetwood Mac; the Colgate Dischords performed “Viva La Vida” by Coldplay and “Hooked on a Feeling” by Blue Swede; and the Colgate 13 performed “Canyon Moon” by Harry Styles and “White Christmas” by Irving Berlin. Temperatures had dropped significantly from the afternoon, leaving the field moist with dew, but despite the cold, nearly a hundred members of the Colgate community attended MusicFest, which lasted approximately half an hour.

While the concert was relatively short, both students in the audience and performers enjoyed their experience at the event. First-year Kyra Neumann emphasized how she appreciated the lively atmosphere, both among students and performers.

“I most enjoyed, I think, seeing how much fun everyone was having on stage,” Neumann said. “It made me smile.”

Neumann also expressed her hope that more students would attend similar events in the future, noting how both the music and the free food available contributed to the evening’s ambiance.

Junior Emily D’Alessandro, the music director for the Mantiphondrakes and the soloist for “Little Lies,” greatly appreciated the emotional connection between the performers and the audience. 

“We really do feed off the energy of the crowd, so if you’re having a good time watching us, just know that we’re having an even better time singing for you,” D’Alessandro said.

The audience broke out in spontaneous cheering at several moments throughout the concert, usually following particularly impressive sections of the solo parts. Students also seemed to appreciate the misdirection employed by the Colgate 13 in introducing their second piece; prefacing it as a “spooky” holiday song, they instead sang the happy and nostalgic winter carol “White Christmas.” All around, the event was filled with joy and enthusiasm.

D’Alessandro discussed not only the role of the audience but also her enjoyment of the atmosphere onstage.

“This concert was really exciting because it was our new members’ first one,” D’Alessandro said. “Concerts are really just a bonding experience for the whole group. We all have so much energy, we get each other excited and nothing boosts morale like a good performance.”

Senior Michael Hanratty, a director for the Colgate Dischords, especially appreciated the outdoor venue.

“We most frequently perform in the [Colgate Memorial] Chapel, so it was unique to perform in an outdoor space with a professional lighting and sound setup,” Hanratty said.

Junior Elsa O’Brien, the Student Activities Association (SAA) entertainment director, explained a different way that she found this concert unique and significant.

“We thought it would be really cool on Homecoming and Colgate Day to have a really Colgate-centered entertainment [event], so we reached out to the a cappella groups, and they’ve been amazing to work with, as always,” O’Brien said. 

She noted that planning for the event began as early as July and that she was pleased with how the event turned out.

“We’re just happy we could give a platform to our Colgate student artists,” O’Brien said.

First-year Tucker McPartlin expressed similar sentiments when thinking about the prospect of future concerts.

“I would absolutely go to future events [like this one],” McPartlin said. “One of the things I really like about Colgate is how many opportunities there are for our various art communities to show off their talent. On the whole, I’m very impressed with Colgate’s a cappella community.”

Fortunately for McPartlin and all the other music lovers at Colgate, there will surely be more performances of this sort later in the year, including a Fall Concert on Saturday, Nov. 11, featuring the Mantiphondrakes, Dischords and Colgate Resolutions.

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