SCAMFest Brings Community Together in Song

On Saturday, Nov. 13, Pomona’s Bridges Auditorium opened its doors to a cappella groups from all around Southern California in the 21st annual Southern California Acappella Music Festival (SCAMFest). Hosted by The Claremont Shades, the event welcomed groups from all the 5Cs, as well as other California schools such as University of Southern California; University of California, Davis; and University of California, Los Angeles.

The Claremont Shades kicked the night off with a beautiful performance of “Killing me Softly” and other groups performed to a nearly sold-out Bridges Auditorium, including songs from Adele’s “Skyfall” to Coldplay’s “Magic.” Other 5C students, family members, and staff gathered to watch the performers bring songs from all  genres alive in perfectly arranged a cappella pieces.

Arianna Lee PO ’17, president of the Claremont Shades, expressed that “SCAMFest is a time where all the a cappella groups on campus come together to showcase all of our talent and everything we have been working for so long.”

Lee also found leading the group challenging yet extremely fulfilling.

“Being president really opened my eyes about all the work that goes on behind the scenes. On top of rehearsals, our group was selling tickets, contacting the other groups, getting in touch with the Big Bridges staff, and all that. It was really hard work, but definitely worth it when you see it all come together,” she said.

The mood of this year's performances was slightly different than previous years. The Women’s Blue and White gave an inspiring message before their performance of “Wasted on the Way” by Crosby, Stills & Nash. They admitted to changing one of their SCAMFest songs in light of recent events as they hoped that “the new song would bring healing” to the audience like it has done for their group many times before. Other groups also joined in on this.

Delphine Burns PZ ’17, who has been with One Night Stanza since her first year, sang a solo arrangement of “The Dog Days are Over” by Florence and the Machine. She dedicated the song to everyone who has been marginalized by the events of the previous week and expressed hope that they would be empowered by the song in the same way she was.

“If I have 2000 people in a captive audience who are listening to me no matter what, I wanted to use my voice to send a powerful message,” she said. “I wanted to make sure that I could at least cancel out some of the hate spread by the presidential election, I wanted to send a message to people who have been marginalized this past week or before, and for them to listen to the song feel and empowered by it.”

Lee spoke to the importance of Saturday’s performance, the 21st annual SCAMFest.

“It was really cool to carry on that tradition,” Lee said. “It always brings people together, but I think this year was particularly special because of everything that has been going on. We felt that people all around the colleges really just needed a place where they could go and enjoy themselves for a little bit. A place where they could escape and know that everyone was there to support each other.”

In a time where it feels like the whole world is divided, the performances across the SCAMFest served as a great reminder that unity across all people is not only possible, but necessary.

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