As a visiting student whose time is wrapping up in Oxford, I’ve started to think back on all the moments that I’ll remember most from my short eight-week stint here. Will it be my fourteenth essay of the term or my twentieth formal hall? Probably not. But amongst the memories that keep coming to mind is one that I didn’t expect to seek out in Oxford – an acapella show. I know you’re probably rolling your eyes because everyone you know is in some kind of acapella group nowadays, but the Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them performance by In The Pink was really more than your average gig. From the music, to the atmosphere, to the sense of community, this group embodied the best of collegiate arts and should be supported proudly by the Oxford community. Now they are raising funds to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and I encourage all of you to chip in to help them best represent our campus music scene.
So how good was this show anyway? Let’s start with the atmosphere. After hearing of the performance from a fellow student in Keble, I decided to make the long trek to The Mad Hatter. Not knowing what to expect, I was warmly greeted upon entry by the group of performers wearing their snappy pink jackets. The small venue was warm and inviting, and the bar offered a wide range of wacky drinks to go along with the Harry Potter theme. By the time the music started, the room was tightly filled and buzzing with energy from the eclectic mix of students, parents, and locals. These women were clearly professional and knew how to run an event that was just as much about the ambiance as it was about the vocals.
Then came the top notch performance. With acts at the beginning, middle, and end of the open mic session, In The Pick commanded the stage with a superb set list that showed off the very best of their entire crew. Solo performances from their newest members added character to the event, giving the audience a chance to see the group’s unique personality. And in an unexpected twist, their open mic sessions brought forward a diverse set of performers from both the university and the community. They ultimately struck the perfect balance of showing off their vocal talent, while also giving the event a uniquely communal flair.
I could ramble on about how much I appreciated all of the effort that clearly went into planning the event, but the obvious point is that these women really care about their small, yet spunky group. We should be proud of the work they put forward to make our community an even more vibrant place. Do make sure to catch one of their performances before your time on campus comes to an end, and I strongly encourage you to contribute to their Edinburgh Fringe Festival performance so that they can represent the best of Oxford’s musical life.
You can check out the Fantastic Beats and Where To Find Them music video, and donate to the girls’ crowdfund here: https://somerville.hubbub.net/p/inthepink-edfringe/supporters/