This Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in Gaston Hall, Superfood and the Saxatones will host Georgetown’s annual Spring Sing. Spring Sing is an energetic, lively a cappella concert that will feature four other Georgetown a cappella groups: the Georgetown Chimes, the Gracenotes, the Phantoms, and the Capitol G’s. The event is part of GU Arts Week, which kicks off this Friday.
Superfood and the Saxatones — two of the newer a cappella groups on campus—decided that they wanted to host their own concert on campus, and thus, Spring Sing was born. However, Spring Sing hasn’t always been the big event that it is now; it was originally held in smaller venues like McNeir Auditorium in New North, which only seats about one hundred people. It was also initially referred to by different names, such as “Super Saxa Fair.” However, after much hard work, members of Superfood and the Saxatones were able to convince the Department of Performing Arts to move the show to Gaston Hall, perhaps the most prestigious venue in which to perform at Georgetown, seating over 700 people.
“Performing in Gaston Hall is a big deal,” Superfood President Chris Pepe (COL ’15) said.
With the new location, Superfood and the Saxatones also came up with a new label for the concert: Spring Sing. Spring Sing now has name recognition that Hoyas respond to positively. It has become a staple a cappella concert, like the D.C. A Cappella Festival, which is hosted by the Phantoms and the Gracenotes, and Cherry Tree Massacre, hosted by the Chimes.
Pepe said that Superfood and the Saxatones “definitely have had a growing reputation over the past ten years” and thinks that it is exciting that these groups have become established in the a cappella culture on campus. He also believes it’s exciting to collaborate with other groups to put on this great show for the Georgetown community .
Saturday night promises to be a quality concert, especially as six Georgetown a cappella groups will be performing.
“It’s great that we’ll have all the groups there. … We love to interact with each other and all come together, especially at these shows. It’s one last hurrah for the year. It’s one last time for everyone to come out and support their friends in all the different a cappella groups. It’s one last time for the seniors to have their moment on the Gaston stage,” Pepe said.
“Being a part of the Saxatones has been the most formative part of my college experience,” Danny Sullivan (MSB ’14) said. “I keep thinking about how most jobs don’t have a cappella and that’s pretty weird. This is basically the culmination of years I’ve spent singing with my best friends.”
Pepe also said that it’s exciting to see the new songs and arrangements that other groups have created. Arranging performance pieces and rehearsing them can take a huge amount of time and countless hours of dedication go into preparing for these a cappella concerts.
“A cappella arrangements really do take hours; we do have a lot of fun during practice rehearsing them, but we’re definitely having two to three hour practices every night to get ready for the show, and we’ve been practicing for over a month now,” Pepe said. “We do put a lot of time into it, and people can get frustrated when they have midterms and assignments due — but at the end of the day, we love spending time with each other, and it’s a lot of fun … but it definitely takes a lot of time to get to the point that we want to be at.”
The process has its more relaxed aspects as well, as Saxatone Charlie Scott (COL ’16) said.
“Right now, we’re working on the aesthetic side of the performance. It’s lots of fun and it’s nice to take a step back from the specifics of the music and just make each other laugh. We’ve got some surprises and a lot of mojo. We want to shake up the way people think about music and about a cappella,” Scott said. “Gaston is such a special occasion. We love performing on the street and interacting with people but to be mic-ed and singing in a sold-out room — there’s nothing better.”
For some members of these a cappella groups, this will be the last time they perform at Gaston Hall.
“We have a few smaller gigs to perform this year but the Gaston shows are the most important for us and definitely the most exciting performances of the year. The seniors will be pretty upset when it’s over, but we will definitely thank them at the end of the show and let them have their moment. We say a little something about each of them,” Pepe said. “We finish the concert with our Superfood song which is ‘Zombie’ by the Cranberries. We get the alumni to come back on the stage to show a kind of ’Superfood forever’ thing. We want to keep the tradition going on.”
Spring Sing promises to be a night of fun and great singing — and it will also be a night of charity since it’s a benefit concert. The Saxatones, a philanthropy-focused coed a cappella group, typically decide who will receive some of the proceeds and they normally choose an arts-based charity. This year, a portion of the proceeds will go to ArtStream, an organization based in Washington, D.C. ArtStream’s mission is to generate opportunities in the arts for individuals living in communities that are usually underserved in regards to arts education and exposure.
Just a spoiler to get people excited: Superfood’s set will include a Kanye West medley, while the Saxatones will perform “Happy” by Pharrell, among several other songs.
Tickets are $7 and can be bought at the Davis Performing Arts Center, at the door, in Red Square or online.
Get a taste of the what the host groups will be offering:
Saxatones at The Cherry Tree Massacre: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QtjQs2FZjkQ
Superfood at DCAF: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9JMYXc0BQaA