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Spring Jamboree: The Swinging 'Gates and The Colgate Thirteen Perform Year-End Concert

By Margaretta Burdick
On April 19, 2012

  • THE NEXT BIG THING?. Freshman forward Andrew Wiggins has received tons of praise for his stellar play in high school; some scouts have called him the next Lebron James.

The Chapel was filled with the sound of a cappella this Saturday as The Colgate Thir­teen and Swinging 'Gates gave their annual Spring Jamboree concert. The seats were filled with professors, students, prospective students and parents who were treated to an a cappella haven as the two groups sang new songs, old songs, classic songs and lesser-known songs.

The Swinging 'Gates kicked off the show. The ladies of the group, all looking sleek and sophisti­cated in black dresses, kicked off the night with a song in the traditional barbershop a cappella style. They continued with a wonderful rendition of "At Last," the song made famous by Etta James. The Swinging 'Gates also included more modern songs in their set, such as Sara Bareilles's "King of Anything," Natalie Merchant's "Wonder" and "Least Complicated," originally done by the group Indigo Girls. The group wound down their set with a lovely song all together called "Change in My Life," during which you could really feel how close the group mem­bers are to each other. Last, but cer­tainly not least, was Jordan Sparks's "Battlefield" with powerhouse soloist senior Liz Barnett to end the Swing­ing 'Gates' portion of the night. The 'Gates also got some a cappella publicity in with a rap written and performed by the group's publicity manager, which made for one of the highlights of the concert.

All in all, the ladies of Swing­ing 'Gates put on a fun, lively last concert of the year.

"We are extremely proud of our Spring Jam­boree. We've worked very hard this semester and we were especially grateful for all of the support we saw in the audience. The Spring Jamboree is also special for the 'Gates because it is the last time we sing as an entire group before the seniors graduate - our group is incredibly close-knit," Swinging 'Gates musical leader senior Sonya Fal­cone said.

Following the Swinging 'Gates was a cara­van of Colgate Thirteen members carrying a settee upon which senior Carl Johnson laid, telling the mystic tale of discovering Colgate and The Thirteen while journeying through the wilderness. The Thirteen jumped right into the Harry Belefonte song "Men Smart, Woman Smarter," with Johnson switching from storyteller to soloist.

It is a special year for The Thirteen, as they are celebrating their 70th anniversary since the group's founding in 1942. The group talked briefly about the extensive touring they were able to do this year, traveling to San Francisco, Vancouver and Orlando, to name a few. They have clearly been practicing frequently, which was reflected in their rock solid set, including a wonderful rendition of "Ain't No Sunshine" with soloist senior Matt Kolar and the 1950s song "Teenager in Love" with soloist senior Sam Donaldson.

The members also introduced themselves complete with a fun fact, including this audi­ence favorite: "My name's Travis Larrison. I'm from Utica, which, according to my geography professor, makes me a townie." The audience also enjoyed senior Michael Michonski's jour­ney off the stage (followed, of course, by all fellow Thirteen members) to serenade "Baby Come Back" to a Swinging 'Gate. The Thirteen showed off a bit of their versatility in music se­lection with songs such as "Parakeets," complete with bird sound effects, and "Loch Lomond," a traditional Scottish song sung by Michonski. The group rounded out their set with 60s swing "Walk Away Renee" with soloist se­nior Neil Krulewitz, the Thirteen's leader. The group then "improvised" an excellent rendition of the clas­sic Van Morrison tune "Brown Eyed Girl," sung by Johnson. And as always, The Colgate Thirteen finished with their classic "Coney Island Baby" to bid the audience farewell.

This concert marked the seniors' last Colgate Thirteen concert.

"Singing your last concert ever with guys you've spent four years working, playing and getting into trouble with can only be described as bittersweet. It proves that hard work and dedication do pay off. We've put countless hours into this group and we're glad to share what we're so proud of with our friends and family," Michonski reflected.

And so passed another lively and fun-filled performance from the Swinging 'Gates and Colgate Thirteen, with the groups' se­niors singing for the last time in the Colgate Chapel. Needless to say, they went out with a musical bang.

Contact Margaretta Burdick at

mburdick@colgate.edu.


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