Williams student groups come and go so quickly that it’s nearly impossible to keep a current list. From the Gospel Choir to the Garfield Republican Club to the South Asian Students Association to the Springstreakers, they express every contemporary student interest, talent and affiliation, but no discernible trend—with one grand exception.
With deep Williams roots, and until recently a somewhat retro reputation, a cappella is big—and getting bigger. Of a record eight groups on campus this year, four have been created since the 1990s. The newest group, the Aristocows, debuted just last fall.
Why so many groups? Why now? Are Williams students more susceptible to pop-culture prompts (think Glee) than most are willing to admit? Are we seeing a backlash against technologically enabled entertainment—a return to “make your own fun”?
Who knows? And, really, who cares? The point is that at Williams lots of informal, vocals-only music is being made across a range of styles and attitudes.
Want to know even more? Check out “A Cappella Rehabilitation,” a video made in honor of The Springstreeters’ 25th anniversary in 2006, here. Or click here to watch a host of Eph a cappella performances.
(Photographs by Roman Iwasiwka)