Exclusive With The Sirens

This past week, a number of Colby a cappella groups performed in the Waterville Rocks concert downtown, including the Sirens, one of three all-female a cappella groups. In a recent interview with multiple Sirens members, the Echo delves into all aspects of this tight-knit, social singing group.

Many students might have only heard of a cappella from The Office’s Andy Bernard, so it might be hard to fully understand just how much time and energy goes into mastering an a cappella rendition of “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.”

Led by Molly Mizusawa ’17, the Sirens include eight members spanning from first years to seniors. The Sirens lit up the stage last Wednesday at the Waterville Rocks festival, and have performances at Colby scheduled throughout the semester, including Family Homecoming Weekend, the end of semester show, and other events at the Colby Art Museum.

Like many other Colby a cappella groups, the Sirens hold auditions at the beginning of each semester. Of the twenty-five students who tried out, only two new members were selected, Suzanne Singer ’20 and Ileana Glyptis ’20. The group searched for the best and most promising musical talents, and, according to Claire Caputi ’19, they found it.

“Our voices blend together like caramel,” Caputi said of the new recruits and returning singers of the group. Besides the rigorous audition process, the Sirens meet three times a week and practice for two hours at a time. During these practice sessions, they warm up with scales and then focus on learning new music, balancing harmonies, and having fun. Last year, the Sirens performed renditions of “Cheerleader” by OMI and “Fall for you” by Secondhand Serenade. This year, they are narrowing down their focus to three top songs: “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” by Whitney Houston, “Show Me Love” by Hundred Waters, and “Paper hearts” by Tory Kelly.

“We like to feature every Siren in every song, so our arrangements always feature many shifting parts which makes learning extra challenging sometimes, but very fun,” said Rebecca Gray, ’17. 

But the Sirens are more than just a singing group: “We’re really like a little family,” said Abby Shea ’18, a veteran of the group. She lives with two other Sirens and relies on her song-sisters for more than just singing under her solos.  “My moms, the seniors of the group, are my go-to people for any and everything,” she said.  Emily Taylor ’18, another member of the group, feels the same. “It may sound really cheesy but they are my people,” she said. The bond may come from singing together, but more likely comes from being vulnerable and comfortable with one another. “Honestly, I’ve never felt more at home and more free to be my weird ass self,”
Taylor said.

Because of their family dynamics, the Sirens’ rehearsals don’t feel like work for the members. “Rehearsal is the best part of my week because I get to sing beautiful songs with beautiful strong women who love and support each other unconditionally,” said Shea. Taylor summed up the vibe of the group succinctly: “We are a bunch of singing, cheese-loving mermaids who are infatuated with each other.”

Older Sirens are already excited to welcome in the new “baby” Sirens, as Shea called them. “As for my babies, I’m already obsessed with them,” Shea said, explaining that the new members are the “perfect additions to our perfect little family.” Singer and Glyptis blend right in with the group, Shea explaining that “their voices are stunning and their energy is so positive.”

A cappella plays an important role within the structure of Colby’s performance art culture on campus. It is one of the most wide-reaching, gathering hundreds of students at performances, and one of the most sought-over activities. With so much student interest in a cappella, yet so few spaces available, a cappella groups have become some of the most competitive groups to join on campus.

A cappella is growing in popularity at Colby, and with groups like the Sirens showcasing their musical prowess, we can be assured that its popularity will continue to expand. Be sure to look out for upcoming performances, as it is sure to be an enjoyable experience for all.