By Wesley Yiin, PC '16
Many of Yale’s thirteen undergraduate underclass a cappella groups have held concerts over the past few weeks. These shows usually took place on weekends, attracting students, alumni, and other spectators from all over campus.
Throughout February, March, and April of each year, the singing groups each stage a “Spring Jam” concert as part of Yale’s a cappella tradition. Each of these concerts gives the hosting group an opportunity to show off its newest “tap class” (the newest members), debut new songs and arrangements, and, of course, entertain fellow students during stressful midterm season.
Each Jam also has a theme, often resulting in costumed singers and scripted and joke-filled transitions. Some shows had more traditional themes, like Mixed Company’s “Snow Job” or Shades’ “Valentine’s Day Jam”, which accordingly took place on February 14. Other groups opted for more outlandish and culturally relevant themes, like The Spizzwinks(?)’ “Modern Jamily” and The Duke’s Men’s “Hunger Jams.”
Laura Garcia, PC ’16, spoke positively about her first Jam experience with Yale’s all-female jazz group, Proof of the Pudding. For her, rehearsing for Jam was most rewarding. As part of each group’s concert preparation, members mingle with singers in other groups in an activity known as “jam-prepping.” The groups share food, take turns singing for one another, offer suggestions, and develop a sense of camaraderie.
“All the groups are so different and so unique. To be able to spend twenty minutes with them, hear them sing, and just hang out for a bit is fantastic. You feel very much a part of a larger community,” said Laura. Since Proof’s concert—one of the year’s first—also unfortunately coincided with the February snowstorm, Laura also expressed gratitude for her friends that came to see the show.
Although many Jams have already taken place, some groups have yet to hold their concerts. Redhot and Blue, for instance, has its Jam on Friday, April 12.