A Cappella Groups End Year with Spam Jam
Under the tent on June 8 at 7:00 PM, Hopkins’ three a cappella groups, Spirens, Triple Trio, and the Harmonaires, perform in their final concert of the year: Spam Jam.
Complete with a full set list, with solos performed by seniors and underclassmen alike, Spam Jam is the last hurrah for seniors in all three a cappella groups.
All three a cappella groups worked hard throughout the year to put together their set lists. "We have one year and one deadline," said senior Matt Fiedler '17, a member of Harmonaires. He remarks on his final year: "I think it speaks to the leadership of the heads, the character of each of the students in the groups, and the groups as a whole that we can manage to stay focused and prepare such great performances."
Every year, Spam Jam is the culmination of many hours of hard work by each of the three a cappella groups. "Each group learns ten or eleven songs, only a few of which are performed on other occasions," said Liza Kottler '17, one of the heads of Triple Trio. "Throughout the year, we have Spam Jam in our minds," says Sana Patel '19, member of Spirens. She continued saying that, "[the concert] is what we are working towards in the end."
What originated as a small concert in Heath is now performed annually under the tent placed on the upper playing fields for Prize Day and Graduation.
Unlike in past years, Spam Jam is only one night. The faculty adviser for Spirens and Harmonaires, Elliot Faust, said that "the main reason was logistical; the Senior Picnic is under the tent on Tuesday night and Prestige Party Rental - who installs our tents and does all the set-ups under the tent - needs Wednesday to reset for Prize Day on Thurdsay." With only one night of performance this year instead of two, Kenny Lu '19, a member of Harmonaires said, "It's important we make it a proper end to the year."
This once-a-year concert is a night dedicated to celebrating the talent, dedication and hard work put in by the singers throughout the year. Caitlin Gilroy '18, a member of Triple Trio, sees Spam Jam as an opportunity to "observe each individual performer's growth from the first practice in September to the last performance on Spam Jam night."
Another special aspect of Spam Jam is the alumni participation. Patel said, "a lot of alumni come to see their past groups and we sing a song at the end where they come sing with us." Head of Spirens, Annie Nields '17 remarked, "I feel very bittersweet about our last concert together, but I [enjoy] singing "Landslide" with the group and our alumnae."
This year's set lists contain songs from past decades tow ell known pop songs of today. Spiren Dana Baxter '17, is "excited for the song "Love Lockdown" by Kanye West because it's a contemporary song a lot of people know."
Fellow Spiren Erin Knox '18 said her favorite song is "Give me Love" by Ed Sheeran: "We did the song last year and we thought we'd bring it back this year because it's pretty well-known and really beautiful. The song is all about love and that's what Spirens has been for me." Triple Trio Head Kottler '17 said "my favorite song is probably 'Valerie' by Amy Winehouse. It's such a classic that [Triple Trio] performed also during my freshman year, but it's just such a good one."
Katie Broun '19, another member of Triple Trio, said, "A personal favorite of mine is "Gravity" by Sara Bareilles. It's such a beautiful song that Triple Trio sings really well with beautiful tone and expression."
Fiedler's favorite song performed by the Harmonaires is "Bring It On Home to Me" by Sam Cooke. Sung every year by the Harmonaires, Fiedler said, "it's very fast and energetic, making it the best song for the singers in the group and for the audience." Lu said his favorite is "Game Winner" by Vulfpeck because "it's very fun to sing and it has a different feeling from most of the songs we've sung in the past."
This concert is an emotional tme for the graduating seniors, as Spam Jam represents their final opportunity to perform at Hopkins. Fiedler, when asked about his final Spam Jam said, "I'll miss singing in a formal group, but I'd rather my singing career come to a close at Spam Jam than anywhere else."