Stanford Singers

“I came in to Commons for brunch just like any other day,” said Max Meyer ’08. However, unlike any other casual weekend morning, harmonious melodies drifted throughout the four dinning halls last Sunday. A curious crowd began to gather in the main lobby. To many student’s delight, they saw 6’5” tall Andover Alum Daniel Bacon ’06 jutting out from a crowd of singers. Stanford’s a cappella group, Mixed Company, brought their breezy and cheery west coast style to Phillip’s Academy. The group, Stanford’s oldest co-ed a cappella group, began singing in the fall of 1985. Initially, the group performed locally in dorms and in college talent shows, but soon began venturing outside of their campus. Last week, the group took advantage of their week-long spring break for an east coast tour. Mixed Company performed at Georgetown University and on the streets of New York City. Moving north, the group performed at Brandeis and other Boston-area colleges. While in the area, Bacon and Angela Tenney ’05 hoped to revisit their beloved high school. Originally, the group hoped to perform at a more formal venue, but because of the timing, the Student Activities Board could only accommodate Mixed Company in the lobby of Commons. Regardless of the venue, Andover students were excited to see old friends and enjoy the music. Alexa Reid ’07 said, “I thought it was great entertainment that was casual and easily accessible.” On Stanford’s campus, nine other a cappella groups rival Mixed Company. While other groups are identified by their respective genres of music, Mixed Company stands on its own as a co-ed ensemble. This fact was particularly striking to Andover students, because the group brought a refreshing and well-blended sound of male and female voices. Taryn Weins ’09 said, “I really like the co-ed group because it adds so much depth to the music when you combine the low and high tones. All the singers in the group were really talented.” Andover alumnus Daniel Bacon remembered that during his freshmen year, Andover had a co-ed a cappella group. Unfortunately, the group’s popularity did not survive the competition from the all-male group, the Yorkies, and all-female group, Azure. Soprano Shira Stites ’10 of Mixed Company, emphasized, “We have a much broader range, and we’re able to hit all sorts of notes.” Soprano Sarah Loaiza ’09 added, “We all bring something. The girls make sure we’re on task, but the guys keep us fun.” Among some of the audience’s favorites were Mixed Company’s renditions of Fountains of Wayne’s “Stacy’s Mom,” “Such Great Heights” by the Postal Service, and “God is a DJ” by Pink. The members of Mixed Company do not only share the stage, but also take credit for their musical arrangements. President of the group, Daniel Herriges ’07 explained, “After the group is finalized, each member nominates songs. Then we all listen and vote for the ones we like.” Despite the success of co-ed a cappella groups elsewhere, they have not thrived at Andover. However, Chip Schroeder ’08, member of the Yorkies, hinted, “We just might be doing something with Azure at the A Cappella Fest.” Hopefully the popular trend will catch on at Andover.