Musicfest Rocks the Hamilton Center for the Arts

If you happened to be at the Hamilton Center for the Arts on Saturday, March 31, around 5 p.m., you might have thought the group there was just a gathering of friends and music lovers. But you would have thought wrong.

Despite the casual vibe – the performers sitting with the audience, the audience shouting out questions – the evening consisted of talented young Colgate musicians playing in Musicfest, an annual event organized by senior Corin Kinkhabwala to raise money for The Multi-Arts Program.

“The Multi-Arts Program (MAP) is to really help get kids on the right track through music, dance, painting, drawing,” Kinkhabwala said.

The money made from Muiscfest will go to scholarships for the students so they can participate in learning opportunities through the Hamilton Center for the Arts.

Musicfest was all about Colgate students showcasing what they’d learned in the arts, from writing skills like Megan Ryan’s original song “Blindsided,” to singing talent like senior Caitlin Grossjung’s performance of her songs “Apartment” and “Caverns,” to even a little dancing from junior Karl Jackson.

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the show, however, was a collaboration by Colgate’s The Neil Diamond Band (which ironically doesn’t play any Neil Diamond). The group played four-part covers of “I Gave You All” by Mumford and Sons, “Ordinary People” by John Lennon and “Flowers in Your Hair” by the Lumineers without missing a beat.

Similarly, Grossjung invited the band No Standards up onstage for a performance of “Youth” by Daughter, a vibrant cover that could be argued to be even better than the original, with a saxophone part bringing it to a whole new level.

No Standards is quite the group in and of itself; though at first it seemed dominated by saxophone, soon each member got a turn to take the lead, with quick-handed piano riffs, tricky fingering on guitar and a near-solo from the drums.

With at least four photographers and two videographers, you’ll likely see – if not hear – the best of the performance yourself. Be sure to keep an eye out for senior Max Brody, who noted that inconvenient timing made things a little more colorful than expected.

“Anybody else go to Holi? My face still has a pink tint to it,” Brody said.

He continued by casually launching into an original song he had just finished three days before. It was easy to forget about the dye in light of his lyrics, “can we go back to that space in time, snow was falling upon your face … we’re so happy now I want to keep you locked up.”

Throughout the show there were plenty of moving of chairs, untangling of wires, retuning of guitars and influx and outflow of audience members. But the core group of 25 or so watchers was focused on the performances, with enthusiastic applause for performances, dedications and bad jokes alike.

Seniors Ben Diamond and Chris Butler, both harmonizing and playing acoustic guitars, summed up Musicfest and the music scene at Colgate after their set with an original, an Elliott Smith cover and “13” by Big Star.