BY NAIEKA RAJ ’19
On Jan. 27, Creating Awareness and Unity for Social Equity hosted a jam called IceCapella featuring Mount Holyoke a cappella groups: Diversions, Milk & Cookies, Raag, The Nice Shoes and The Victory Eights. The event took place at Chapin Auditorium from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. and was free to the public. Donations were collected at the door to benefit The Holyoke Mayor's Fire Relief Fund. According to C.A.U.S.E., the fund "seeks to provide monetary support to the families of those affected by an apartment fire on New Year's Day."
C.A.U.S.E. is a service organization that hosts awareness raising events and volunteer projects through partnerships with community organizations. This group "connects the Mount Holyoke student body with community service opportunities throughout the Pioneer Valley, including Holyoke, Springfield and South Hadley."
The audience was lively and engaged as the different groups performed their songs. Unfortunately, Raag was unable to perform at this event. The audience had already begun dispersing before it was announced that the event was over. Because of its emphasis on South Asian culture, the members of this group are excited to bring diversity to the MHC a capella community.
According to Morgan Flanagan-Folcarelli '17, Mount Holyoke has a "very different a capella culture to what we see advertised in larger communities." Since there is no concept of inter-group competition as there is at other schools, the different groups all intermingle and support one another. ™We go to each other's jams, we have friends in other groups," said Flanagan-Folcarelli. Anna Thackray '19 believes that singing a capella provides a communal bond and she really enjoys being a part of her group, The Nice Shoes. Sarah Cosmedy '20 agreed and states that she has "not experienced any aca-politics." On IceCapella, Cosmedy said, "I think we did a great job, I think everyone did a great job."
Because each of the different a capella groups has its own personality, they attract different individuals to audition. According to Flanagan-Folcarelli, this is another reason why there is not much conflict among the groups. Specifically pertaining to The Nice Shoes, Flanagan-Folcarelli said, "because we are a lot more cause-oriented, it says a lot about what we do and stand for as a group."