29 April, 2002 at 11:35 pm (music, performance)

Skidmore DynamicsAn article appeared in the New York Times on Thursday, April 25 about Skidmore College’s co-ed a cappella group, the Dynamics. Selected as one of the top six college a cappella groups in the nation, the Dynamics competed for top spot in “the finals of the International Championship of Collegiate a Cappella, … Sunday afternoon at Avery Fisher Hall [in Lincoln Center, NYC]. (The other finalists are from Cornell, Boston University and the Universities of Michigan, Maryland and Oregon.)”

As an original member, I proudly attended the competition. It didn’t really matter if the Dynamics won. As Elizabeth Harrison put it, if there was a group that was better than we were, then they should win, and we would shelve our nepotistic pride.

In terms of polish and blend, the Maryland Faux Paz were clear stand-outs, and should have championed the judges criteria of “musicality and performance.” The judges, though, universally displayed terrible taste and singled out the shrill, the flagrant, and the lowest-common-denominators for recognition.

May the names of ROGER PAYNE, RENE RUIZ, and PHYLLIS CLARK be forever reviled.

And as the Dynamics stood onstage in Lincoln Center looking disheveled, casual, and real instead of like the black-clad, cookie-cutter, monkey-suited groups surrounding them, and as they walked offstage with not even a morsel of acclaim, I have never felt prouder of them. I am glad to have been part of a group of individuals and losers.

But that shouldn’t come a big surprise to anyone.


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