Tag Archives: a cappella

Wants to sing?

There are days on which I just wanted to sing. In this small rural campus, how can I make my voice heard?

One of the many answers: Join an A Capella group!

There are eight different A Capella group on campus and each of them has a different style.


The Bobolinks is a co-ed a cappella group which sings a wide range of songs, from pop music to country to oldies in performances on and off campus. At least once a year, the Bobolinks travel further afield to sing in places like New York City and Boston.

Dissipated Eight (D8)

Middlebury’s Dissipated Eight, also known as theD8, is the oldest a capellagroup at Middlebury College. The group performs both nationally and internationally, at private venues, colleges, and high schools alike. Over the years, the group has arranged numerous contemporary and modern pieces, and now has more than 200 recorded covers of popular music.


This funky co-ed a cappella group wows audiences with their diverse repertoire ranging from Red Hot Chili Peppers to the Grateful Dead to Nelly and everything in between. With a strong emphasis on both musicality and fun, they always put on a good show.


The Mischords are the oldest all-female a cappella group on campus, founded in 1962. Their repertoire includes old classics, pop, rock, some originals, musical songs, and many medleys of contemporary music. They perform at many venues both on the Middlebury College campus and at other schools, clubs, and events. Really awesome girls, really pretty voices.

Mountain Ayres

The Middlebury Mountain Ayres are a co-ed a cappella group dedicated to the appreciation and performance of Renaissance music, particularly madrigals, although they do occasionally sing contemporary pieces (especially if they’ve been arranged by the King’s Singers). Their repertoire is musically challenging (think French and Latin rather than “dim dim”s), focuses mainly on group performance rather than soloists, and has not in recent memory required beat boxing. Despite/because of this, they have a great deal of fun with our music, particularly at our annual “Bringing Bawdy Back” concert. The group generally ranges in size from half a dozen to a baker’s dozen.


The Paradiddles are an all female a cappella group. We enjoy making quality music together in diverse styles including pop, rock, 70s and 80s classics, country, and even heavy metal! The Paradiddles value not only working hard to be the best we can musically, but also creating an accepting, friendly community for all of our members.

People Get Ready (PGR)

People Get Ready, or PGR for short, is a co-ed a cappella group formed in 1998 by a group of Middlebury students who wanted to sing contemporary Christian rock and pop music. Most of PGR’s music is self-arranged by members who want the group to sing their favorites, so you can expect to hear well-known songs–both old and new–at each concert.

Stuck in the Middle (SIM)

Stuck in the Middle (SIM) is Middlebury College’s freshest, cleanest, newest, all-male a cappella group. Our size and musical variety are considerable, large, and in charge, and we relish in providing the full, pleasurable aural experience to audiences of all shapes and sizes.

Each A Capella holds auditions at the beginning of each semester. Usually they ask you to sing a single, and a bit test on volume and pitch. I joined PGR two years ago and it was a lot of fun. It was a big time commitment- three times a week, 1.5-2 hours per time- but it was a great experience. All of us were very passionate on music, which is the what drove us together. We had a concert every semester. Seeing all the friends sitting there and applaud for us made me feel really accomplished. Many A Capella groups plan trips every semester, most likely to other areas in New England. SIM even made a trip to Japan.

Spring is coming–time to sing!

How many MiddKids does it take to sing a song?

If you’re counting by a cappella groups, 8. With anywhere from about ten to fifteen members in each group, that’s a lot of people singing on campus (not to mention the College Choir, Community Choir, music department ensembles, student bands, individual performers…).

A cappella has a visible and really varied presence on campus: with two all-guys groups (Stuck In the Middle and the Dissipated Eight), two all-girls groups (Mischords and Paradiddles), two co-ed groups (Mamajamas and Bobolinks), a renaissance group (Mountain Ayres), and a Christian group (People Get Ready), it’s hard to miss the small huddles of people around campus who are able to spontaneously burst into song. For instance:

The best (and maybe surprising) part about it, is that each group has a truly unique flavor of sound and jive of its own in comparison with other Midd groups.

That said, we like to mix ourselves up and collaborate sometimes, too. Last Friday, my group, Stuck In the Middle (SIM), and the Mischords (shout out to Senior Fellow Cloe!), performed together at a Middlebury alumni event in Greenwich, Conn. at the Belle Haven Yacht Club. Both groups had great sets, which we concluded with the SIM-Mischord choir’s rendition of the Middlebury Alma Mater, “Walls of Ivy.”

It’s amazing to see (let alone do, as music director) the work that goes into planning and executing music tours of any sort. Apart from hours of rehearsing, logistics like finding gigs, negotiating pay, reserving vans, getting group members’ schedules to work together, finding food, finding lodging, and getting people dressed and to the venue on time all take a lot of preparation.

Having acted as a member, the social director, (advertising, outreach, performance, etc.) and now acting as music director, a cappella has been a time-consuming, but totally worthwhile and rewarding activity: getting to sing and be creative with a group of great guys for four years is priceless.

Though Midd’s a cap groups might have yet to make it to the “big-leagues” (see YouTube video below) — not to belittle my group’s own music video, Middlebury-related musicians like Dispatch and and most recently, Ezra Axelrod ’07, have made more than just ripples in the music industry.