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    • Spirens sing in socks at the first ever Can Jam in 2015.

New A Cappella Concert

Katherine Takoudes ’20 Arts Editor
On Friday, November 11, Hopkins’ three a cappella groups - Spirens, Harmonaires, and Triple Trio - will gather in Upper Heath to perform in Can Jam, a concert to benefit the Connecticut Food Bank.
The event was first created in 2015 by Student Council President Will Simon ’16 and Senior Class ’16 President Sophie Cappello as an additional event during the Canned Food Drive season. Its name, Can Jam, is a play on the Canned Food Drive, which raises money for the Connecticut Food Bank, and Spam Jam, which is the annual end of the year a cappella concert. This year, Student Council President and co-head of the Harmonaires, Sam Jenkins ’19, decided to bring the event back: “I knew that the a cappella groups really enjoyed it and wanted another chance to perform, and I knew that it could be a good source of revenue for the Connecticut Food Bank.”

Some of the current seniors, such as Spirens member Sana Patel ’19 and Triple Trio co-head Maliya Ellis ’19 sang in Can Jam three years ago, as freshmen. “Can Jam was my first a capella concert and I loved how informal it was. Spirens dressed up in ‘sockapella’ style, where we wore black dresses and fuzzy socks,” said Patel. Ellis recalls “[the event] had a great turnout for such a cold night and everyone really enjoyed it. Each group performed three songs, so it made for a concert that was long enough, but not boring.”

Beyond Can Jam, the groups sing at Assembly, school events and other concerts throughout the year. “We perform at the Harmonies for Healing Benefit Concert and the Hopkins Auction,” said Harmonaires co-head Tim Sullivan ’19. Alexis Chang ’21 has performed with Spirens at a multitude of both regular and charity concerts. Chang said, “It feels especially good when we know the money raised from our singing is going somewhere to help others.”

Due to its location and purpose, Can Jam has a cozy and welcoming atmosphere that makes it unique. Harmonaires co-head Kenny Lu ’19 said: “Heath is a fun space to perform in because we stand
right in front of the audience.” Triple Trio co-head Emma DeNaples ’19 described Can Jam as “a great opportunity to get more comfortable on stage.”

This year, Can Jam will feature a variety of songs from all three a cappella groups. Favorites include Triple Trio’s Travelin Soldier by Dixie Chicks, Harmonaires’ When I’m 64 by the Beatles, and Spirens’ 1950 by King Princess. Given that the concert is in November, the a cappella groups only had two months to practice and perfect their song selections. “It’s been a bit difficult scheduling enough time to get our songs ready to perform so soon, but now that we have our schedule set, I think we’ll be able to pull it off! It’s busy, but also exciting, as we’ve been trying to bring Can Jam back for a long time,” said DeNaples.

Can Jam will join the Haunted House, Yule Ball, and waffle sales as one of the school events that raises money for the Connecticut Food Bank. “It’s great to get as many groups of Hopkins students as possible involved in raising money during the Canned Food Drive,” said Jenkins. Spirens co-head Ashley Chin ’19 recognized the fundraising aspect of Can Jam: “Can Jam is great because I know that I’m performing for the sake of a good cause.”
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