by Delphine Burns
The auditorium bustles with guests, and it seems as though more people file in every moment. The chatter of the crowd swells and plunges in an almost rhythmic manner. As it nears 7 PM, the lights become dimmer, and people begin to shuffle toward their seats. A Cappella groups gather backstage and discuss the unique combination of nerves and excitement that only comes from performing. The performers peek out from backstage, and adrenaline fills their bodies as they anticipate the show ahead. It’s SCAMFest 2015.
Every year, The Claremont Shades, one of the eight A Cappella groups at The Claremont Colleges, hosts a large concert in November. This event is known as Southern California A Cappella Music Festival, or more commonly referred to as SCAMFest. All eight Claremont A Cappella groups usually perform two songs, and visiting groups from schools such as UC Davis, UCLA, and USC typically perform three. The audience is usually composed of around 2000 people, students and community members alike.
Lots of preparation goes into this event, as for most Claremont a cappella groups it’s the largest concert of the year. Hours of rehearsal weeks ahead and the week of SCAMFest can leave students feeling stressed and overwhelmed, not to mention the pressure to perform well for a large crowd.
Members of the a cappella group One Night Stanza shared their experience in preparation for SCAMFest.
“A few years ago, if you told me I was going to be singing in front of hundreds of people I at first would have said no,” Pomona senior Annie Hellebust said. “Then when I thought about the people I’m lucky enough to have singing beside me, I would have said something articulate like ah fine, but I’m way too scared.”
Hellebust has participated in a wide variety of performing arts and has gained confidence in regards to performing over the years.
“My time in Claremont has given me the chance to branch out and perform much more than I ever had in the past,” Hellebust said. “I’m sad because some of the giddy rush that came with performance is gone. I can’t ride that high anymore, but I suppose that’s really a good thing as far as my vocal performance is concerned.”
Another member of One Night Stanza, Harvey Mudd sophomore Marissa Lee is looking forward to the show, and like Hellebust, is not anxious about the performance.
“I’m not too nervous because a cappella is meant to be fun and casual,” Lee said. “I just hope we can put on an enjoyable show for everyone who comes out. My favorite part of a cappella is getting the chance to hang out with a bunch of cool people from all 5Cs, so I’m just excited to have fun performing with them.”
To watch One Night Stanza and many other collegiate a cappella groups perform, come to Bridges Auditorium at 7PM Sat., Nov. 7 for an irreplaceable a cappella experience. Tickets are available online or through the Bridges Auditorium box office, costing $8 for students and $15 for non-students. For more information and to buy tickets online, visit www.pomona.edu/events/scamfest-2015.