Review: A night of a cappella in the Tang showcases the College's vocal talents: All six a cappella groups performed in the Tang last Thursday night

Posted by Olivia Powers A cappella has become nearly synonymous with college, and although Skidmore flatters itself to be unique from other colleges, its soft spot for this music form confirms that underneath the flannel shirts beat stereotypically collegiate hearts. The six a cappella groups on campus, which vary from for-charity to all-inclusive, and from all-female to all-male, each specializes in the iconic "a cappella bounce." However, it is unusual to see them all bouncing together on the same evening.

Last Thursday night, all six groups joined together for an intimate evening of music in the atrium of the Tang Teaching Museum.

"It's rare that all of the a cappella groups are able to perform at the same event, much less get to listen to each other," Drastic Measures Co-Musical Director Emily Streim '14 said.

At Thursday's showcase each group performed three songs. The Drastic Measures kicked off the performance with an animated set, ending in an upbeat rendition of Simon and Garfunkel's "Cecilia," replete with a creative cornucopia of self-made percussion. This was a theme throughout the evening; each group performed at least one song in which its members' voices were supplemented with a beat-boxing, heel-stomping, finger-snapping array of sounds.

The Drastics were followed by the Sonneteers, the Bandersnatchers, the Accents, the Dynamics and, finally, the Treblemakers. Though many groups repeated old material and the Bandersnatchers recycled a few too many jokes, the performance demonstrated the array of talent that exists within the College's a cappella community.

"All the groups have really different styles of music so it's really cool to see that all in one place," said Sara Belasco '14, secretary of the Treblemakers. "Banders is a very clean-cut, boy band type of group, and Sonnets and Accents are very folksy and alternative. We sing more popular music, I think because we have a larger number of people and that's what a lot of people are interested in."

The audience was comprised almost exclusively of students. They crowded the small venue, overflowing the chairs set up in front of the make shift stage to line the staircase and pour onto the balcony.

"I want to take a picture because this never happens in the Tang," said a member of the Bandersnatchers while on stage.

Indeed, it was a rare treat to see such a large group of students crammed into the Tang's atrium, filling the normally serene gallery with excitement. Though the Tang's acoustics cannot compete with those of Helen Filene Ladd Concert Hall in Zankel, its intimacy allowed the singers to interact with the audience members, who shouted their appreciation for the old favorites that were performed.

Surprisingly, the Treblemakers, the only all-inclusive group, were able to keep pace with the more polished groups. Where the group's vocals lacked precision the members made up for in enthusiasm. The infectious energy of their mash-ups of popular songs ended the concert on a lively and carefree note. However, perhaps wrongly anticipating an inferior performance, many audience members had snuck out by the final set, missing out on a rousing ending to a spirited jumpstart to the new semester. Oh well, their loss.

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