By Elana Katz
After SUNY New Paltz’s Absolut a Cappella won last year’s Thruway A Capella: A Sing Off at Proctors GE Theater, Union College’s a Capella groups had another shot at the title but on Saturday, March 3rd in which the Dutch Pipers reigned supreme.
This year’s 2nd annual Thruway A Capella at Proctors was even more successful and enjoyable than the last. The event raised money to benefit The Community Land Trust of Schenectady under the direction of sociology professor Janet Grigsby and students Jackie Mandart ’12 and Shawn Tangnavarad ’13. Thruway at Proctors is a particularly unique event because it provides Union with an opportunity to call upon various organizations to come together and support a worthwhile cause and the arts. Everyone from UProgram to the Gazette to the Union College Alumni Office showed their support and contributed to Thruway in some form to ensure its success. The enthusiasm and talent in the theater was at an all time high on Saturday night. With Union College alumni Makeita Laurent ’11 and McLeod Sims ’11 hosting, Thruway was off to a great start. A Capella groups from New York and Connecticut gathered to present their finest work in a sing off, with University of Rochester’s Midnight Ramblers, Colgate University’s Dischords, University of Connecticut’s Chordials, and our very own Dutch Pipers, Garnet Minstrelles, and Eliphalets to sing it out to the end.
Everything from oldies but goodies like Crosby Stills and Nash’s “Carry On” to contemporary hits like Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” were performed at Thruway, taking the audience on a musical journey. The Midnight Ramblers’ performance of Queen’s ‘Somebody to Love,’ winner of Best Song, was highly memorable as it was upbeat and interactive. They earned the award for Best Stage Presence. The Garnet Minstrelles, winner of Best Dressed ensemble, performed “Fly” by Nicki Minaj, featuring strong solos by Sam Stagias ’14 and Anna Gagnon ’14.
It came down to an old fashioned girls vs. boys when the University of Connecticut Chordials faced off against the Dutch Pipers for first place. The Chordials performed Rusted Root’s “Send Me On My Way”, showcasing the talents of each member of the ensemble very nicely. But it was the Dutch Piper’s performance of “Flathead” by the Fratellis with leading soloist Al Indig ’13 for the win. Making Union College even more proud, the Eliphalets came in a well-deserved third place.
Ultimately, each group did a tremendous job and left the audience looking forward to next year.