A Cappella Jamboree preview

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

The end-of-the semester a cappella jamboree is here, and the Gazette checked in with all the campus groups for an exclusive preview.

Jazz group Oscar and Emily is hosting the event. The theme is kids’ music, which will be reflected in the traditional opening skits and introductory musical numbers. Oscar and Emily will be featuring new members in their set, and Amara Telleen ’06 dropped hints of a non-traditional Spanish jazz number.

The newest group on the a cappella scene is Lodge 2nes [Tunes], or Rounds. They take a broadly philosophical approach to their music. “This is, in many ways, a redefinition of a post-ironic threshold to enter this genre of a cappella,” says co-founder Ethan Ucker ’07. “The genre of a cappella is a blank canvas, and we are all artists. We bring our own paint, our own moves, our own harmonies…I am not Jackson Pollock. But I know Jackson Pollock.” Co-found Neal Dandade ’06 is more specific. “We sing a variety of traditional and modern rounds.” “It’s all very serious. We’ve all dropped three or four credits to take part in this group. It’s taking an enormous amount of intellectual effort and reflection,” says Ucker ’07.

Co-ed group Sticks and Stones promises another “rocking set of ’70s and 80s music,” according to member Matt Fiedler ’06. This will include numbers by the Eagles, Eddie Money, and most mysteriously, Michael Jackson, including a cameo by “Swarthmore’s most talented Jackson-style dancer.” They aren’t saying who it is.

Cantatrix member Nathaniel Peters ’07 calls his group “Swarthmore’s best medieval a cappella group.” They will doubtlessly live up to that title, performing early music including “If You Love Me,” in which “the Son of God is exchanged for a quilt” and “Il est Bel et Bon,” a French song Peters describes as being about a “hot hot husband.”

All female group Grapevine has four new members, three of them first-years. The first-years arranged two of the songs they will be performing, including “Coin-Operated Boy,” which, according to member Lee Paczulla ’05, is a “really off-the-wall song most people won’t know.”

Mixed Company will be welcoming two first-years to its ranks. According to member Ben Thuronyi ’07, their repertoire is quite eclectic, ranging from current pop and alternative to standards, and, in what is sure to be a big hit tonight (Mixed Company is performing tonight only), a fully choreographed take on “The Lonely Goatherd” from “The Sound of Music.”

Sixteen Feet, Essence of Soul and Chaverim will also be performing. This years’ Jamboree promises to be another exciting, if long, event. Or, in the words of Lodge 2nes, “To know and not to act is not to know.”

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