By Alyssa Alfonso ‘19
As the lights went down in a packed Big Bridges Auditorium on November 12th, the crowd held its breath in anticipation for a lively night of a cappella hosted by the 5C’s very own Claremont Shades.
“This is my favorite night of the year,” said Scripps sophomore Avery Harwood, “I bought my tickets the second they went on sale.” This sentiment was echoed throughout the theater as the audience eagerly awaited the show.
Eleven different collegiate groups performed at the 5C’s most anticipated a capella event of the year. From the Claremont Consortium: the Claremont Shades, Mood Swing, Ninth Street Hooligans, One Night Stanza, Women’s Blue and White, The After School Specials, and Midnight Echo. From UCLA, the ScatterTones and the all-male Bruin Harmony. USC’s SoCal VoCals and all-female group from UC Davis, The Spokes, topped off the lineup for 2016’s Southern California A Cappella Music Festival–better known by the (markedly catchier) name SCAMFest.
Each decked out in distinctive colors, every group brought their own flair to the night. As the maroon-clad Claremont Shades stepped on stage to start off the evening, the crowd was red-dy for what each group had in store.
A mix of performances from current pop hits to retro classics to a pop-hits turned bluesy were each a treat in their own right. Mood Swings’ performance of DNCE’s Cake By The Ocean and Midnight Echo’s arrangement of Beyonce’s Pray You Catch Me were hard for some not to croon in unison from their seats. Other less trendy ballads like The SoCal Vocals’ rendition of Allen Stone’s Perfect World kept the audience enraptured even if they couldn’t sing along.
The Ninth Street Hooligans were a favorite of the night as they proved no song was too poppy for a slowed-down and jazzed-up rendition. The crowd went bananas over Laura Kent’s (SCR ‘17) powerful solo that made Gwen Stefani’s Hollaback Girl seem as if it were made for a cappella.
USC’s SoCal Vocals’ seamlessly tight choreography, understatedly rich vocals and riffs were another crowd favorite as they strode across the stage in perfect unison.
The Spokes’ soloist took down the house as she soulfully sang I Feel a Sin Comin’ On.
After intermission, Claremont’s favorite green group was up next. As the crowd anticipated the arrival of the After School Specials, shouts could be heard of “ASS? More like yaaaASS!” and other ASS-related puns which rivaled that of the group’s ASS- kicking vocals.
With the outcome of last week’s election still fresh and raw in national memory, several groups changed their setlist to reflect the emotional state of the campuses. One Night Stanza dedicated their performance of The Dog Days are Over to “all of those who have felt marginalized this week–or ever.” Women’s Blue and White’s praised “the healing and strength the group has witnessed in [the 5C community].” The group also altered their setlist to include a touching and poignant rendition of Wasted on the Way by Crosby, Stills & Nash. The line: “So much love to make up everywhere you turn” seems a frightfully fitting refrain for the week.
SCAMFest was a much-needed evening full of vibrant colors, stellar performances, and overwhelming support from the 5C community. As the audience streamed out of Big Bridges after a night of a cappella, hugs and flowers abounded–the end of a successful SCAMFest 2016!