The Colgate Thirteen and Swinging ‘Gates Perform at the 2013 Spring Jamboree



The sounds of talented male and female a cappella resonated throughout the Colgate Memorial Chapel this past Friday night as the Colgate Thirteen and the Swinging ‘Gates performed for students, parents and faculty in their 2013 Spring Jamboree. Everyone in the audience was remarkably impressed with the high caliber of the singers’ voices in addition to the variety of music chosen for the concert, as evidenced by the roaring applause that was heard after each and every performance.

The Swinging ‘Gates opened their concert with the entire group singing a rendition of “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” in their sophisticated black dresses, snapping their fingers and letting their wonderful voices shine. The next song up was “St. Teresa,” soloed by senior Caitlin McCarthy, which was followed by senior Amelia Tidona’s version of “Fever.” The fourth song of the evening was one of my many favorites of the event: senior Ilona Haidvogel’s rendition of Dido’s song “White Flag.” Haidvogel’s hauntingly beautiful voice gave me goose bumps, and I think I enjoyed her version of the song even more than the original.

The rest of the ‘Gates’ performance consisted of three solos and one final group song. Senior Amanda Griffiths sang “Black Water,” followed by senior Samantha Weiss’s “Shark in the Water” and senior Erika Fritz’s “Gravity.” Their closing song of the evening was Robyn’s “Call Your Girlfriend,” sung by all members of the group, including some of the newest members, who were brought on stage at the end of the performance. The Swinging ‘Gates had a wonderful last performance of the year, and the packed Chapel broke into applause after they finished.

As difficult as it was to follow up such an amazing performance by the Swinging ‘Gates, the Colgate Thirteen were fantastic as always, eliciting a similar positive reaction from the audience. Their set consisted of a number of solos by seniors with marvelous voices, including Joey Petracca’s mix of Paul Simon’s “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes” and Vampire Weekend’s “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa,” Centner’s “Ain’t No Sunshine,” Hunter Hanson’s “Stitched Up” and Evan Hammond’s “No One’s Gonna Love You.”

One of the solos that stood out the most was senior Yuni Sameshima’s execution of Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York.” Sameshima’s deep, powerful voice captured Sinatra’s song in an entirely new light. There was also a wonderful duet between senior Travis Larrison, who had no trouble hitting every note in the book, and junior Enrique CuUnjieng; the two sang a medley of “People Get Ready” and “Waitin’ on the World to Change.”

About halfway through the concert Hammond began speaking about his Russian thesis in an attempt to be more serious, lest the crowd think that all the esteemed a cappella group does is joke around. However, the rest of the Thirteen did not allow him to speak for more than several seconds before, led by senior Kit Norris, they all descended into the crowd, serenading one fortunate girl with the song “Come Go With Me.” The Thirteen also tried to be serious a second time when they sang the “Colgate Hymn,” but broke off into more jokes, eliciting laughs and applause from the audience.

The final song of the evening, Stevie Wonder’s energetic “Signed, Sealed, Delivered,” was performed by senior James Frankel. Frankel’s beautiful voice produced a great booming applause, both for his individual song and for the concert in general, which concluded the evening of spectacular a cappella performances.