While every one was stuffing their faces with lobster mac & cheese and pumpkin dip at Harvest Dinner, the Merimanders and the Manops, two of Bates’ esteemed a cappella groups, were preparing for a Meri-Manops mash up in the Benjamin Mays Center. On November 18th, these two musical groups provided some good musical vibes for the entire student body to enjoy while digesting their first (of many?) Thanksgiving dinner of the season.
The two groups sang their songs individually, introducing some old classics as well as some new material they’ve been working on, including “Feeling Good” by Michael Bublé courtesy of the Meris. They then came together at the end for a surprise number compiled of the best choreography a cappella has ever seen (and yes, every single performer was flawless). Both the Meris and the Manops shared the stage as they combined their sounds to create a hilarious and entertaining final song. Their rehearsal even made an appearance on the famous NESCAC Snapchat story.
Emma Schiller ’18, a member of the Merimanders, the only all-female group on campus, explained the rehearsal process for this last song and dance, apart from the multiple rehearsals each week they had as individual groups. “We had two group rehearsals, which were a little hectic because our groups prepare quite differently, but we had a lot of fun, and I think that came through in the show,” she said. “The choreography was definitely new for the Meris though so we just rolled with the punches and had a blast.”
Schiller mentioned in an interview that this finale number was her favorite part of the entire concert. She said, “It definitely didn’t go perfectly but I think that was half the fun as it was definitely the most entertaining song we did.”
Sarah Curtis ’18, also a member of the Merimanders, got her very first solo at this concert in the song “Feeling Good,” a new debut for the Meris. While having a solo was definitely “fun and exhilarating” for Curtis, she explained that the solo isn’t what a cappella is about, especially for this concert. “Without the music that we create as a whole group, the layers that a cappella provides in order to support the soloist is where the true hard work is done and is shown off.”
Like Schiller, Curtis’ most memorable part of the concert was the group number in collaboration with the Manops, and for a good reason. She explained, “To be honest the Manops were so great to watch but my favorite part of the show had to be the end during the group song when a fellow Meri tripped and we both just started laughing non stop for the rest of the song uncontrollably.”
Each a cappella group on campus will be performing in a holiday concert on December 14th to wrap up the semester. “The holiday concert is one of my personal favorites and I know the other Meris love it too,” Schiller said. “It’s a little hectic as it’s during the heat of finals but it’s a really nice way to take a break and listen to some sweet tunes.”Although the groups haven’t gotten into full gear for the concert, they have been working hard each rehearsal to get into the holiday spirit and promise yet another entertaining and quintessential Bates a cappella concert.