Spring 2017
By Brianna Delaney ’19

The history of harmony at Colgate

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Colgate Thirteen and the 25th anniversary of the Resolutions’ founding. We looked back at the tradition of a cappella at Colgate for some of the high notes.

Archival photo of the Sacred Music Society


Sacred Music Society

A precursor to a cappella groups on campus, the Sacred Music Society, established in 1843, was the first musical group at Colgate. It later became the Glee Club, which remained completely student run until 1912, when the music department hired its first full-time professor — William Hoerner.


Archival photo of the Colgate 13 singing in the Hall of Presidents


75th anniversaryColgate Thirteen

In 1942, students established the university’s first a cappella group, the Colgate Thirteen. Among the oldest collegiate groups of their kind in the country, the Thirteen have produced 27 albums. Favorite tunes include 1950’s “Coney Island Baby,” 1964’s “Moon River,” and old-school standards like the “Colgate Hymn.” The Vintage Thirteen (alumni who fondly call themselves “Crusties”) reunite and perform together frequently.


Hear more from the Colgate Thirteen



Archival photo of the Swinging 'Gates performing in Colgate Memorial Chapel


Swinging ’Gates

Four years after Colgate became coed (1974), female students created the Swinging ’Gates. Today, the ’Gates pair with the Thirteen for two annual concerts. The ’Gates are best known for their rendition of the traditional “1819,” which tells the story of the university’s founding.



The Resolutions perform in the Colgate Memorial Chapel


25th AnniversaryThe Resolutions

Formed during Spring Party Weekend of 1992, the Resolutions — a.k.a. “the Resos” — ushered in a new era of coed a cappella. The initial members, Marc Gironda ’94, Marisa Bond ’94, and Jason Corrigan ’95, created a group that current director Lauren Moscato ’17 said, “takes discord and transforms it into harmony — a sound of resolution.”


Hear more from the Resolutions


The Dischords perform in Colgate Memorial Chapel


The Dischords

Kate Pientka ’02 established the Dischords in 2001 because: “Many singers on campus wanted the experience and camaraderie that a cappella offers, but there weren’t enough groups,” she said. Now with 17 members, the Dischords perform biannually, featuring covers of pop hits.


Hear more from the Dischords


The Mantiphondrakes perform in Colgate Memorial Chapel to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr.



Originally dubbed the Mandrakes (as in the mythical plant known for its deafening screeches) when it began in 2011, the coed group was renamed the Mantiphondrakes — combining the original name with the musical term “antiphon” — in 2012. The founder, Steph Arditte ’11, “intended to provide a space for students to grow together while understanding each other’s differences, outside of traditional forms of campus culture,” said current group leader Jason Alexander ’17.


Hear more from the Mantiphondrakes