Whitman a cappella groups join forces for charity

caitlinhardee

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On Saturday, Oct. 22, Whitman’s three a cappella groups united to fill Cordiner with the wonders of the human voice. The all-female Sirens of Swank joined the co-ed group Schwa, the all-male Testostertones and senior slam poet Dujie Tahat in a charity concert, organized by the Student Health Advisory Council to support local free urgent care clinic S.O.S. Health Services.

Credit: Catie Bergman

The three vocal groups performed a diverse spectrum of adapted material, ranging from the Sirens’ renditions of Roberta Flack’s “Killing Me Softly with His Song,” Nelly’s “Just a Dream” and Mika’s “Grace Kelly” to Schwa’s stunning Bon Iver medley. The T-Tones ran the musical gamut, from a comic medley of ’90s boy band songs to a haunting lullaby in classic choral style.

Visiting parent Joanna Adler shared her appreciation after the show.

“It’s a great cause to bring all these people together,” said Adler. “There’s great energy in here, really good acoustics. My stepdaughter went to [University of Oregon] and she was in an a cappella group, and they’re pretty competitive. It was kind of nice to listen to different styles, you know, all-girl groups sound a lot different than all-guy groups, but they brought a lot of energy to it, so it was really fun.”

First-year Carrie Walker was glowing after her first major performance with Sirens of Swank.

“We sang for the parents, but this was my first main one,” said Walker. “It was really fun. The audience was so huge! I’ve never sung in front of that huge of an audience.”

Walker explained what had drawn her to Sirens of Swank out of Whitman’s diverse vocal groups.

“I really like the community of Sirens,” she said. “They’re all super sweet girls and we’re just a big family.”

Meanwhile, senior T-Tone Jasper Bash provided some insight into the Testostertones’ new dynamic.

“We have five new members––they’re awesome. We’re really excited. This is our first big concert we’ve gotten to do with them,” said Bash. “I think we have a really exceptionally chorally gifted group this year, a lot of people who have a really strong background in choir stuff, so I’m hoping to see more songs like ‘Lullaby’ come out.”

Bash and junior T-Tone Nik Hagen revealed some of the group’s plans for the future.

“We might have some sort of recording this year––one of the T-Tone alums might come back at the end of this year and try to record a couple songs for us,” said Hagen.

“We’re hoping to start Lullagrams up again, where we do private concerts around campus,” said Bash. “And then usually we have an end-of-the-semester, big T-Tones-only concert in Hunter, which we’re looking to set a date for pretty soon.”

The Whitman College Testostertones perform at the Speakeasy concert. Video by Parrish