The Colgate 13 and Swinging ’Gates Rock the Colgate Chapel


The Swinging ’Gates kicked off a full program on Friday night with a sweet cover of the nineties hit “Something to Talk About” by Bonnie Raitt, with senior Allie Schneider taking the lead. 

The Chapel was packed with students and their families – there wasn’t even room left to stand in the back – but everyone was silent for the semicircle of women onstage in little black dresses and red corsages.

There were lots of cute sound effects in the nine arrangements from the ’Gates, from trills in a cover of Pat Benatar’s “We Belong” to bubbly sounds that got a chuckle out of the listeners in “Why Should I Cry for You,” a Sting cover.

 But the theme of the night seemed to be calm, quiet music, with beautiful harmonies supporting a soft lead singer. The eeriest song – an arrangement of “Settle Down” by Kimbra, with senior Miri Reinhold as the lead singer – was an exception to otherwise peaceful, cheerful music. It was also the most recent song by a decade or two; almost every other song was from the nineties or eighties.

The other exceptions were two songs arranged by junior Hannah Goldstein: “Valerie,” by Amy Winehouse and “Rivers and Roads,” by The Head and the Heart, which finished off the set for the ’Gates and the first half of the program. While senior Katie Williams, took the lead for “Valerie,” “Rivers and Roads” was a more collective effort, with a singer occasionally stepping out of line to take over for a line or two.

It was a solemn song as a grand finale, but the ’Gates finished out with a perfect line of bows, all hands clasped and kisses flung to the audience.

The Colgate Thirteen took the stage in black tuxedos and red corsages, with huge enthusiasm from the audience. Without pausing for introductions, senior Joseph Cohen IV took the lead and launched into a version of “Follow Me” by Uncle Kracker arranged by junior Warren Dennis. When the boys started clapping, the audience joined right in.

After thanks and applause for the Swinging ’Gates, the Thirteen jumped into an intense cover of “If I Ever Fall In Love Again,” with lead singer senior Alex Wrobel getting whistles from the audience. 

But it was their fourth song – a cover of “Colder Weather” by Zac Brown arranged and led by senior Alexander Rojek – that had the audience cheering mid-song.

Next up was a brief intermission with a performance by the new members of the Thirteen, who were ushers for the performance. When they finally took the stage, it was to act out a satirical skit on the future of Colgate rather than a song.

“Oh my god, somebody just got hit by the Cruiser, what do I do? Snapchat!” said one of the performers, and the boys spent a great deal of time making fun of Yik Yak, Twitter, Facebook and students’ obsessions with social media.

One student even started to read a marriage sermon from his phone, before realizing he was supposed to be presiding over a funeral.

While some of the jokes may have gone over audience members’ heads, the new members received both a round of applause and a lot of laughs before the older members retook the stage to finish out with Mitch Leigh’s “Impossible Dream” featuring senior Emmett Potts, and a Colgate Thirteen classic: “Coney Island Baby.” Despite a joke at the expense of the Swinging ’Gates, the concert finished on a high note.