After a long year without the chance to sing in person, the Bowdoin Meddiebempsters, Bowdoin’s oldest a cappella group, are back on stage. When COVID-19 cases surged last March, the Meddiebempsters had just started their annual tour and were prepared to sing at colleges and venues all over the northeast.
In a normal academic year, Bowdoin’s six a cappella groups would have finished recruitment several weeks ago. The week-long process, which typically takes place in late September, consists of a first round of auditions, a second round of callbacks and the “draft,” where the A Cappella Council meets to express interest in singers and then issue bids to them.
With only first years, transfer students and a select few upperclass students on campus this semester, maintaining club connections requires extra creativity in the virtual sphere. Ursus Verses, one of Bowdoin’s coed a cappella groups, is working to overcome the challenges of remote learning and to cultivate a supportive musical environment despite the distance.
As remote learning has become the new global norm, college communities have been searching for ways to stay united while physically apart. At Bowdoin, student performance groups are channelling their creativity to bring the College’s community together with virtual performances.
With pews so full that students spilled over onto the floor, the current members of Bowdoin’s a cappella groups performed their best, hoping to attract their futures. Supporters, friends and a cappella hopefuls packed into the Bowdoin Chapel last Friday night for the annual recruitment concert, where each of Bowdoin’s six groups performed two songs.
Life imitates art. Or rather, for Miscellania, life just might imitate the hit 2012 movie “Pitch Perfect.” The group, Bowdoin’s only exclusively female a cappella group, will appear on the Boston television show “Sing That Thing!” tonight at 8 p.m.
Last weekend, the Meddiebempsters’ 80th reunion brought together current and former Meddies representing eras of Bowdoin’s history stretching as far back as the 1950s. With such an extensive history on display, cultural shifts over the years were clearly apparent, in everything from the diversity of the group to the music they performed.