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Summer 2002

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Dynamics do Lincoln Center

     They didn’t win. They didn’t place. But the Skidmore Dynamics sure showed their stuff as they took the stage of Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall, part of a boisterous harmonic convergence at this spring’s International Collegiate Championship of A Cappella. “We were always in it for the fun of it —we never thought we’d come this far,” says Dynamics secretary Lisa Piccirillo ’04.
     Winning the regional semifinals at Boston University meant the Dynos were one of the top six college a cappella groups from across the U.S. and Canada. That got the attention of the New York Times, which featured them as a lively example of the a cappella craze at colleges nationwide, and their name went up on a giant Lincoln Center poster, along with the five other finalists: University of Oregon’s On the Rocks, Cornell’s Last Call, University of Maryland’s Faux Paz, Boston University’s Terpsichore, and—the eventual champs—University of Michigan’s Compulsive Lyres.
     Skidmore’s troupe was only thirteen strong for the championship competition, but the four other members (ineligible for nationals because they’d missed the regional semifinals) cheered on their peers from second-row seats. Going against strong contenders from large universities—many of which boast a dozen or more a cappella groups each—the Dynamics brought their trademark high energy, insouciance, vibrant vocals, and genuinely affectionate camaraderie, which had won over the judges at earlier competitions.
      Staying true to their form in a genre dominated by group costumes and meticulously choreographed routines, the Dynamics barrelled onstage, eclectically accoutred in outfits ranging from chino chic to neohippie to nightclub; one or two were barefoot. Their dance moves were in sync but individual. That originality may have cost them points with the judges, admits Dynamics president Jonathan Whitton ’02, but any other style “would have been everything we’re against,” he says. “We pride ourselves on being individuals, completely and totally different but musically together.”
     The Times had said it could be tough for the Dynamics “to convey [such] infectious spirit in cavernous Avery Fisher Hall,” but they easily did it, delighting an audience of more than 2,200 with numbers from the Jackson Five, Sting, and Christina Aguilera. Their vocals were rich and smooth, and their soloists—Piccirillo, Whitton, and Jocelyn Arem ’04—outdid themselves. Wrapping up their set to a hall-high roar of approval, the Dynamics cantered offstage, swapping high leaps and flying hugs.
     “They sang wonderfully,” reported Skidmore President Jamienne S. Studley, who with husband Gary Smith attends many Skidmore a cappella concerts and wasn’t about to miss this one. “They represented Skidmore handsomely, and demonstrated the excellent singing and warm camaraderie we have come to know and love.” Says Whitton, “The coolest part was, as we left the stage, I felt so proud to be from Skidmore.” He adds, “We all felt we had already won before we even got to the competition.” Skidmore fans agreed: the Dynamics left the ICCA championships the way they came in—winners. —BAM


© 2002 Skidmore College