If you were looking for some outrageous dance moves, vibrant chalkboards and barbershop tunes this Saturday night, the Sirens’ “Sing for Science!” a cappella concert was the place to be.
The event, the group’s second annual benefit concert, featured three groups from Hopkins as well as The Chimes from Georgetown University.
With a colorful blackboard backdrop of science-themed illustrations, the Mental Notes lived up to their name as the only comedy a cappella group on campus, starting off the night with their humorous rendition of “One Semester of Spanish, Spanish Love Song.”
The All-Nighters, Hopkins’s all-male group, followed, raising the bar with a mash-up of Kings of Leon’s “Use Somebody” and Katy Perry’s “The One that Got Away.” The two soloists practically spewed passion during their performance and were only affected by pitchiness at the end.
However, the building’s energy throughout the song made up for it and was only pushed by the whole group’s movement in sync with their flowing crescendos and diminuendos.
The Sirens were loudly cheered onstage next and began with an energized performance of Tom Cochrane’s “Life Is a Highway.” Soloist Lara Baez’s clear voice added punch to the song and Jessica DeBakey’s beat-boxing kept it energized. While the bridge provided a nice break from the sometimes repetitive refrain, it was a bit too low for Baez and started to sound muddy.
Their second song, the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back,” featured some impressively synchronized dance moves that at times felt too rehearsed and over-powered the song. Soloists Ginny Drake and Kerry Moriarty each brought a unique sound to the piece, sweet and soulful, respectively, but they almost didn’t mesh well enough for a duet.
With their button-ups, striped ties, playful snapping and barbershop style, the Georgetown University Chimes brought a fresh sound to the night with the next several songs. “In the Night” featured Grease-like doo wops and the soloists played out a love song scenario with fearless falsetto. Most humorous was the spoken interlude: “I’ll be the Johns to your Hopkins; I’ll be the Sandy to your hurricane…” They knew how to pander to their audience.
The Chimes finished out the evening with a rendition of “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye,” which got the whole audience involved clapping, and ended with one of their own members sprawled out on the ground. They were at their best with the bold, strong notes of the piece.
The concert, which lasted less than an hour, ended somewhat abruptly. It was surprising that the Sirens performed so few songs at their own event. The Chimes stole the show, as people walked out still humming the na na na nas.
After teaming up with GirlUp for last year’s benefit concert, “Sing for Somalia,” the Sirens decided to change things up a bit this year, pairing with Theta Tau, the professional engineering fraternity.
“This year we worked with Theta Tau because we wanted to give back to a cause on the opposite side of the spectrum,” Jessica DeBakey, the president of the Sirens, wrote in an email to The News-Letter. “We thought it would hit closer to home for Hopkins students, since many of us have benefited from great math and science programs in our prior schooling, enabling us to come here for college.”
Kerry Moriarty, a member of both groups, facilitated the collaboration. Proceeds from the admission fee will go to the Maryland Academy of Technology and Health Sciences (MATHS), a public charter school for children in grades 6-12 specializing in STEM learning. The funds will go directly to their robotics club and school supplies.
“Theta Tau decided to support MATHS because we like to give back to the community. As an engineering fraternity, we support the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) teaching that they focus on at MATHS,” Marc Madore, service chair for Theta Tau wrote in an email to The News-Letter. “It is really great to help local Baltimore students learn about and discover engineering!”