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.
Once again, Jamboree staged Swarthmore’s finest a capella groups, with the unfortunate exclusion of Cantantrix. The event was an improvement on last year, both in musicality and in theatrics.
Grapevine’s intro for each group was a parody of a familiar song and a parody of each group. The first group to perform, Mixed Company, received a censure for its improper attempt at a contraction, MoCo. The climax of their set was the theatrically preformed Come Sail Away by the Styx, featuring Chris Klaniecki ‘10 complete with a one-feather sailor’s hat and a sense of wanderlust. I won’t reveal it, but expect some theatrical surprises by Klaniecki in tonight’s performance. Hats off to MoCo…literally.
Sixteen Feet was the next group to perform, beginning with Take Me Out by Franz Ferdinand. Their ability to channel the energy of the rock song into a capella made them the highlight of the show; props to arranger Wren Elhai ’08. Yoshi Johnson ’08 serenaded the audience with their last song, Officially Missing you/Man in the Mirror by Tamia/Michael Jackson, earning a standing ovation from a group of audience members.
Unlike the other groups, Essence was “too cool” to be satired, sang Grapevine; the members did look pretty classy in their usual all black attire. The first song featured the newest member Daniel Chung ’10, who proved himself a worthwhile addition the group. In the next song, I’m a G by Lloyd, Eva McKend ’11 blew away the audience with her powerful voice that resembled a mix of BeyoncÃ© and Alicia Keys. As audience member Twan Claiborne shouted out, she “rocked those suspenders.”
In their intro, Grapevine parodied Chaverim’s change from a Jewish/Hebrew themed to an international themed a capella group. Their overall quality may have been slightly marred by their first song, Sympathique by Pink Martini, because soloist Ada Link ’09 of Bryn Mawr slaughtered the French lyrics. The admirable human impression of a trumpet, however, made up for the errors in pronunciation. Freshman soloist Chelsea Dunkel ‘11 from Bryn Mawr shined in the last (and best) song Dosvedanya, Mio Bombino (Goodbye, My Bumblebee), which was mostly sung in English.
Grapevine closed the show that evening with a repertoire climaxing with their SUPER AWESOME DISNEY MEDLEY, (I quote from the program), rekindling my inner child. Claire Noble ’10 preformed a great reenactment of the lobster from Little Mermaid but did not hide the latent sexual innuendo in the song Under the Sea. Other snippets of movie songs included Can’t Wait to be King (Lion King), Gaston (Beauty and the Beast), A Whole New World (Aladdin), and Colors of the Wind (Pocohantas). The medley was well received by the audience.
This year’s Jamboree was one of the best I’ve seen in two years. Catch tonight’s final performance at 8 pm in Lang Concert Hall.