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Miscellania and BOKA going to Boston for a cappella festival

January 27, 2023

Courtesy of Jane Godiner
L.L. BOKA: Members of BOKA pose in L.L. Bean. The a cappella group will accompany Miscellania in its trip to Boston to attend the Wick Festival.

This coming weekend, two of the College’s a cappella groups will perform at St. Mark’s High School in Southborough, Mass.. BOKA and Miscellania will be taking part in the Wick Festival, where high school and college groups perform together for a shared audience.

“I think it’s a big part of a cappella culture to perform with other groups and be able to share your work,” said Annie Mahoney ’23, a senior leader of Miscellania. “I’m really excited about that.”

Due to Covid-19, many a cappella groups have not been able to travel as much as they usually would. Frances Hornbostel ’25 of BOKA noted that the recent lack of travel adds to the excitement of the trip.

“I’m so excited to be on the same stage [as Miscellania], and because of Covid, I feel like people have been traveling much less, and it’s going to be an auditorium filled with people who just want to hear groups sing together and have fun and that is refreshing,” Hornbostel said.

Hornbostel is an alumna of St. Mark’s High School, and she reached out earlier this year to inquire about open spots to perform in the festival.

“They host a bunch of high schools who have a cappella groups, and usually one or two college groups, and I always loved performing in them in the all-girls group at St. Mark’s,” Hornbostel said. “So I reached out and asked if they had chosen a cappella groups for this year.”

Additionally, Miscellania, affectionately known as “Missy,” will also be performing at Tufts on Saturday, staying an extra night in Massachusetts after the Wick Festival.

“I’m really excited that we’re getting to travel … and I think it’s been really fun to have a community of people that also love to sing, and we want to be focused on refining our sound and creating great new things for the group,” said Mahoney.

The gig was set up through a member’s friend at Tufts, and Missy is set to perform with Tufts groups the Jackson Jills and the Beezlebubs.

“We decided to take advantage of going to Boston by staying over an extra night,” Mahoney said. “It’s our mini-tour just to kind of keep the spark alive and to show the underclassmen that it is totally possible and to continue the interest in doing it. I definitely hope they do it in the future.”

Hornbostel spoke of the excitement she and Mahoney shared about the group dynamics of a cappella, and specifically the joy they find in watching highschool performances, something that college-level a cappella groups usually do not get the chance to do.

“I’m excited to hear what their sound is like, and to learn from other groups throughout the entire trip,” Hornbostel said. “It’s always really fun to see the different styles that different groups bring, and a lot of high schoolers know how to arrange music and it’s cool to hear different people’s versions of different songs and just how original they can get.”

The trip sets a precedent for the future of Bowdoin’s a cappella groups, as a return to touring seems possible and even probable.


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