Summer term sees formation, development of student groups

by Sophia Siu | 8/18/16 5:30pm


Max Fliegner '18 performs with student band Point of Contention at Phi Delta Alpha fraternity.

With fewer students on campus than any other term, the summer leaves student-run dance and musical groups shorthanded. To make up for the deficit, many established groups have traditionally held auditions for summer-specific additions in order to bolster numbers and maintain an active presence on campus.

Including a host of new talent does not stop revamped dance and a cappella groups such as SHEBAlite, Summerphonix and Splendaplum from drawing crowds. In addition to the summer versions of already well-known dance and music groups, this term has also seen the emergence and development of newer performing acts that have used the summer as a time to experiment within the campus music and dance scene.

Point of Contention, a student band comprised of Sid Mehra ’18, James Detweiler ’18, Max Fliegner ’18, Tara Joshi ’18, Joe Finkelstein ’18 and Charlotte Kamin ’18, formed in mid-July. The band has had two shows so far — one hosted at Phi Delta Alpha fraternity and another on the Collis center porch during Sophomore Parents’ Weekend.

Although Point of Contention plays a range of covers mostly in the pop, rock and funk genres, Fliegner noted that each member of the band’s unique talents complement those of the other members, allowing each person to incorporate his or her own personal technique and style to the songs, regardless of the genre.

Fliegner had not known the other members of the band besides Detweiler and had never played bass in a band before. However, he has found the experience of being a member of Point of Contention to be an extremely eye-opening and rewarding experience.

“It’s giving me some exposure to what being in a band is like. We all have a lot of differences musically, so it’s fun to put those all together and see it goes. It’s kind of unpredictable, which gives it a really cool, exciting element,” Fliegner remarked.

Fliegner said that the band hopes to stay together after the summer, but differences in D-Plans will make it hard for all members of the band to be on campus at the same time.

“We’d like to do our best with the remaining members to stay together and do what we can,” Fliegner said.

Many people are familiar with seeing Angie Lee ’17 in Dartmouth’s dance groups SHEBAlite and Street Soul, but Lee has also used this summer to explore DJing at dance parties around campus.

“As a dancer, I appreciate good music to dance to, and whenever I would to go dance parties, I would be like, I could probably do this better,” Lee said. “And maybe that’s being cocky, but I think because I listen to a very wide range of music when I was younger, I had that opinion, and so I have a big library of songs.”

Lee picked up DJing after taking some lessons from Kirby Spivey ’16, and DJed her first dance party at Epsilon Kappa Theta sorority earlier in the summer after getting in touch with the EKT social chairs. Lee also DJed another dance party at Sigma Delta sorority last week, and plans to continue DJing after the summer.

“I really like doing it and I think I’m getting better and more things are more instinctive. I’m still working on it, and still learning,” Lee said.

While the summer provides a great opportunity for some student dance and musical groups to debut, other relatively new groups use this time to prepare and plan for the fall.

A dance group that has decided to utilize the summer as a time to practice and workshop sets is Raaz, Dartmouth’s South Asian fusion dance team. The team modeled Raazberries after the summer editions of other dance groups on campus.

Arati Gangadharan ’18, a summer co-captain of the Raazberries team, said that Raaz seeks to spread awareness about Indian culture on campus by holding events and taking part in dance shows. Although Raazberries is not performing in any shows this term, the team of dancers teach and develop Bollywood, bhangra, fusion and hip-hop routines in low-pressure workshops that occur twice a week.

Gangadharan said that Raazberries allowed her friends who joined the dance team for the summer to share in a part of Indian culture that they wouldn’t have seen or experienced otherwise.

When the original team returns in the fall, the group will be performing during orientation as well as traveling to other college campuses to perform over the term.

Music in Color, a coed a cappella group that formed last fall, did not hold shows over the summer but decided to use the time to prepare and practice their repertoire for the fall.

Janice Fidalgo ’18 created the group with the intention of bringing together songs from people of color.

“It exists specifically with the purpose to have songs that are not white-centric and to move away from the pop songs that are always sung in a cappella groups, with a specific focus on music from people of color,” said Lydia Freehafer ’18, who joined the group in the winter.

As Music in Color does not focus on any specific genre, the sets include songs from a range of artists, including Esperanza Spalding and Drake.

Freehafer noted that in the fall, the group might sing a mix of more popular, modern songs and older songs.

“It’s been really great. I’ve had a lot of fun and I’ve met some people who I’ve become super close with that I wouldn’t have otherwise,” Freehafer said. “It’s exciting that it’s a new thing that’s getting started and it’s cool to be a part of that, and I’m excited to see where it goes.”

Music in Color will perform as part of the a cappella showcase for freshmen and will hold auditions alongside the other a cappella groups in the fall.