Posts Tagged a cappella

Jackson Jills 50th Anniversary

Founded in 1963, the Jackson Jills is Tufts’ oldest all-female a capella group.

In April, many former Jills returned to the Hill to celebrate their 50th anniversary with a reunion show. Jills through the generations proved their a cappella spirit still runs strong. Watch the video below to see the founding members of the Jackson Jills sing Sentimental Journey, originally sung by Doris Day.

You can also enjoy photos of the Jackson Jills reunion gathered by Tufts Alumni.

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Too Many Notes With Deke Sharon

Onstage & Backstage, a blog from the Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group, published a Q&A with Tufts alumnus and former Beelzebub Deke Sharon, A91, about his love for and career in a cappella music.

Sharon talked about what drew him to a cappella:

[The beelzebubs] came and sang at my high school and it just changed my life. I was like ‘what is this? This is the greatest thing in the world!’ Up on stage there was all this energy, all these sounds, layers of voices.

He also spoke about the most rewarding aspect of writing a cappella music:

It gets really exciting and interesting because while a voice can only make one sound at a time, it’s actually able to create a wider range of sounds than any instrument and it’s also able to span musical styles in a way that instruments really can’t.

Recently, Sharon co-authored the book A Cappella Arranging, which is essentially a textbook for a cappella writing for every vocal arranger whether amateur or professional.

Check out the video below of Sharon as he gives his opinions on a cappella dos and don’ts:

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Shir Appeal Fall Show: Robot Love Machine

Shir Appeal, Tufts’ co-ed Jewish A Cappella Group, performed its fall show on November 17 to a large crowd at the Granoff Family Hillel Center. The performance, entitled “Robot Love Machine,” featured a diverse range of songs in both Hebrew and English, as well as some funny skits featuring different members of the group.

Shir Appeal performs several times throughout the year, both around Tufts and at off-campus venues. Check out some photos from the performance below, as well as a video of the group performing “Unity,” by Trevor Hall featuring Matisyahu.

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The Jackson Jills: “Only the Horses”

On October 13th, the Jackson Jills, Tufts’ oldest female a cappella group, performed at Boloco on Boston Avenue. Performing alongside the University of Richmond Octaves, the Jills showed off their new members and some impressive new songs.

Check out this video from the Tufts Daily of the Jills performing “Only the Horses” by Scissor Sisters.

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Beelzebubs “Holding Out For A Hero”

Tufts’ annual homecoming a cappella show was a huge hit with students and alumni alike, as the Amalgamates, Jackson Jills, and Beelzebubs preformed to an enthusiastic audience in Goddard Chapel. Each group was excited to show off their new members, as well as their exciting new repertoire of songs.

Here’s a clip of the Bubs performing Bonnie Tyler’s 1984 hit, “Holding Out For A Hero.”

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A Former ‘Mate Pays It Forward

When Evan Barnathan, A08, M14, became a Boston Schweitzer Fellow, the choice of what to do for his year of service was obvious. As a former member of the Tufts Amalgamates and current music director of his beloved group, he spent the year launching Josiah Quincy Upper School‘s first choral effort: Attuned, an a cappella group that offered students the opportunity to both explore their musical creativity and develop positive self-identity and behaviors. Barnathan worked with students who were “‘unable to sing ‘Happy Birthday'” and through weekly rehearsals, private lessons, and field trips (to see the Bubs!), transformed them “into a formidable a cappella ensemble performing everything from pop to soul with pieces ranging from ‘Unwritten’ by Natasha Bedingfield to ‘Lean on Me’ by Bill Withers.”

Boston Schweitzer Fellows focuses on addressing unmet health needs and is one of thirteen program sites across the US. Their site boasts, “Since the program’s inception, Schweitzer Fellows in Boston—competitively chosen from health-focused graduate student applicants in a variety of fields—have worked tirelessly to address health disparities and the social determinants of health throughout the greater Boston and Worcester areas.” Despite the program’s large scale success, Evan’s personal goals for his project focus on individual students: “I hope that this encourages the students to further engage in music education—and hopefully higher education, including college and beyond.”

For more on The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship, be sure to check out their blog.

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Amalgamates Winter Show on Youtube

The Tufts Amalgamates, a co-ed a cappella group with the rep for being the oldest Tufts group in this category, recently posted a handful of new videos from their winter show on their YouTube channel. Performances included classics like “I Want you Back” by the Jackson 5 to contemporary numbers like KT Tunstall’s “Uummannaq” to a brand new original song by the Amalgamates themselves. You can check out their YouTube channel, as well as watch the video of their rendition of “Sunshine Makes Me High” by Guggenheim Grotto below, solo by junior James Foster Lockwood, E13.


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Shir Appeal Goes Off the Rails

During a recent trip to Chicago, Shir Appeal couldn’t let a subway ride go by without breaking into song.


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Shed a Little Light

Anchord, Tufts’ Christian a cappella group, performed a cover of James Taylor’s “Shed a Little Light” at their fall show on Dec. 9.


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Shadows of the Night

Jackson Jills performed Pat Benetar’s classic “Shadows of the Night” at a reception in Remis Sculpture Court on Dec. 4.


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