By Kate Cheever
Saturday, September 21 was a beautiful day on the Mountain: a balmy 80 degrees, the right touch of a breeze, and the leaves starting to turn that lovely golden color. It was a truly perfect time to welcome all of our families to Sewanee. One of the festivities offered was an acapella concert in the Guerry courtyard. Acapella at Sewanee is certainly alive and well.
A small crowd was easily drawn to the young men and women wearing their flowing colored dresses or their khakis and sport coats. Three acapella groups here on the Mountain took the stage on Saturday. Cadence, an all-female group, Cambiata, campuses’ coed group, and Key of D, a self-proclaimed “premium” all-male group. Each group performed one or two songs, which allowed for a brief and interesting concert.
Cadence started the performance off with “The Color Song” by Maggie Rogers. As an all-female group, the sound they created was ethereal. “The Color Song” is a gentle, graceful piece of music, and Cadence conveyed the mood of the piece with stunning layered harmonies. The group was incredibly cohesive and their tone and harmonies were well-blended. The group finished with “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” by Eurythmics. The song introduced a more playful, perhaps even a bit raunchy, energy into the atmosphere and brought the audience into the fold.
Cambiata was a smaller group than that Cadence. Because of the size of the group, the great talent of each performer became widely apparent. Cambiata performed two songs, “Sunday Morning” and “Sweater Weather. “Sunday Morning” was their first song, and it was sung beautifully, anchored by a soloist with a beautiful earthy tone. “Sweater Weather” was well-done, and was a showcase of the groups’ strength as a collective.
One of the senior members of Cambiata, Julia Peacock, C’20, talked about the group’s preparation for their concert. “We started rehearsals the second week of school, so we only had about 6 rehearsals to prepare, but all our new members were super hardworking and we accomplished so much so quickly.”
She continued to praise the groups’ attitude and work ethic, saying, “It was easy getting things done because everyone was excited to sing and learn a new song. Our rehearsals lately have been so fun and stress-free because everyone comes prepared to work and has a great attitude. I couldn’t ask for a better group of singers.”
Peacock also spoke on her groups’ performance: “I was really proud of how our group performed today because our tenor section was only new members today since we were missing some older members, and they carried their weight and did a great job.” The group seemed nervous, but they sang well, and put on a genuine performance.
The final group performance was from Key of D, the premiere all-male acapella group here on campus. This performance was straight out of Pitch Perfect mash-up riff-off dreams. They performed a mash-up of “Beautiful Girls” and “Stand by Me.” The energy from the beginning was pure fun, the guys were enjoying themselves and singing well, and the audience enjoyed the mash-up style. Once again, the soloists performed incredibly well and elevated the music.
The music community here at Sewanee is a strong one, and acapella is certainly no exception. The concert was a pleasant event with good music and good people in the beautiful atmosphere of this oh-so special place.