Bowdoin students and members of the Brunswick community packed into Pickard Theater on Monday night to watch a medley of a cappella groups perform. All the campus groups—BOKA, Miscellania, the Longfellows, the Bear Tones, the Meddiebempters and Ursus Verses—performed two songs each, all of which were well received by the energetic crowd.
Bowdoin a cappella groups have historically performed all over campus, and this year has been no exception. With Covid-19 safety still a priority for much of the year, groups have performed everywhere from the museum steps to the Ladd House patio to The Chapel.
Jacob Trachtenberg ’24 highlighted that this concert was the first a cappella performance held in Pickard Theater.
“Being on a theater stage is not something I’m really used to,” Trachtenberg said. “It was pretty exciting.”
Ursus Versus member Liam Carvajal-Janke ’25 also had his Pickard debut on Friday.
“Pickard is such a cool spot to sing in—just great acoustics and also a fun place to explore.”
A cappella groups usually perform on their own or with one other group, so this performance presented a unique opportunity for the a cappella community to come together.
“We feed off of each other’s energy,” Carvajal-Janke said.
This gathering was particularly special because of the limits on rehearsals and concerts due to Covid-19.
“Unfortunately with [Covid-19, performances were] kind of up in the air. We had a different group every week,” Carvajal-Janke said.
Many of the groups had their own senior concerts earlier in the week to celebrate their senior members and bid them adieu. Each senior performed a solo, some of which were featured in the Monday night concert.
This concert was the seniors’ very last show. Adelaide Evans ’22 reflected on what her final a cappella concert at Bowdoin meant to her.
“It was so fun to be up there with this group that has gone through so much. And [with] the people that have been here, like the other seniors around me that have been here since my [first] year. But also people have just joined like last semester. It was a super fun experience,” Evans said.
Looking ahead, a number of the singers are hoping to perform more together.
“I love the Meddiebempsters. They’re just very unique and super entertaining. Just to watch them warm up in the wings and to get ready, they’re just as spunky and weird and funny when they’re off the stage as when they’re on,” Carvajal-Janke said. “I wish that we did more things together.”
The concert wrapped up the first full year of a cappella in two years and served as an opportunity for celebration and goodbyes.
“[A capella] is something that has definitely shaped my experience at Bowdoin. We arranged so many new pieces and performed so much new stuff. It was just such a good experience and such a good way to end my a cappella career,” Evans said.