Arts & Culture

Arch sings highlight groups’ individuality, musicality

A cappella groups poke fun at first-years while entertaining them with melodic tunes

Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 16, 2015

A cappella ruled the night on Sept. 12 as the various singing groups gathered under Wayland and Morris Champlain arches to entice potential new members from the class of 2019. The festivities began at 7:30 p.m. and went until midnight. Each of the 14 groups gave the audience a unique flavor of music and artistic style. Some groups went with a consistent set known to work at past events, whereas others experimented with newly released music.

Every a cappella group said they performed on Saturday night as a means of recruitment for the upcoming year. Katherine Doherty ’16, a member of the Chattertocks, said recruitment is her “favorite time of year” and the arch sings are a fun way to “introduce the group to the kids who don’t know who you are.”

Ryan Joudeh ’16, a member of the Brown Derbies, compared recruitment to “frat rushing,” and Emma Friesner ’17, a member of the Ursa Minors, said “the more, the merrier.”

“We decided to sing songs we’ve done in the past,” Friesner said. “The first song we sang was ‘Let’s Get It On,’ which is a tradition for us.”

Brendan George ’18, a member of the Jabberwocks, said, “We sang the Spiderman song, which we don’t normally perform. That was a lot of fun and the crowd really enjoyed it.”

Each a cappella group interacted differently with the crowd. Some stayed more reserved while others gave high-fives to first-years and exchanged flirtatious glances with those in the audience. When the Brown Derbies ran out into the middle of Wayland Arch, they encouraged the crowd to move in close and welcomed the first-years to the concert. “You know how I know you’re all freshmen? The lanyards. Seriously, you’ve got to do something about that,” said group member Derek Shay ’16. The class of 2019 smiled and leaned in a little closer in preparation for the music.

Harmonic Motion gave a soulful performance, singing songs about past loves and the struggles of breakups. The powerful tone in the voices struck a chord with the audience and people began to listen more intently. The crowd never turned away, transfixed by the emotion that the group carried throughout the set.

The Alef Beats gave a fun and meaningful performance. The group opened with “Blank Space,”  and people began moving to the energetic beat of the song. The closing number was “La La La,” a song with soft undertones but powerful emotion.

With the school year underway, the singers are working on exciting projects and performances. Harmonic Motion is currently raising funds for a New England tour over spring break. The Jabberwocks will travel to Tufts University and Smith College in the fall for collaborative concerts, and the group is also going abroad in the summer to Germany, France and the United Kingdom. The Brown Derbies will travel to China, performing in Shanghai and Beijing over winter break. Additionally, members of the Ursa Minors, the Jabberwocks and the Brown Derbies said they are expecting to release CDs in the next year or two.

“It’s exciting to show the freshmen what each group is like. Each group has its own taste in music and unique personality,” Doherty said.