Cultural Events Series: Middlebury College’s Dissipated 8

On Friday, April 24th, White Mountain School students and teachers celebrated one of several events hosted by The White Mountain School Cultural Events Series this year. Read on for community reflections on the performance and workshop.

Dissipated 8, an all-male a cappella group from Middlebury College, brought a beautifully crafted, witty and impressive performance to campus. Their history at Middlebury goes back to the 1950’s when seven members of the class of 1955 came together to sing. A local radio announcer noticed that the group was short one of a double quartet, and he called them the “dissipated 8.” The name stuck and Dissipated 8 made its debut at the Ides of March Dance at Middlebury on March 15, 1952.

The group wowed the White Mountain School audience of students, teachers, and local community members, who gathered in the Great Hall after dinner, with a huge array of genres and songs from traditional “barber shop” pieces to popular contemporary a cappella songs like Africa and The Lion Sleeps Tonight. The group’s rendition of Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart’s 1934 classic, Blue Moon, was a favorite for the audience.

Lindsay Palya ‘15 said, “It was one of the best performances I’ve seen at school. I wish it had been even longer!” Jerry Li ‘15 added, “It was great! I was also so impressed with the diversity of the group. There were all different kinds of people.”

Of the performance, music teacher and Art Department Chair Rachel Norton said, “Dissipated 8 gave an outstanding performance. Not only do they have trained, attractive instruments, they also have excellent stage presence.” Of the workshop, Rachel stated, “this was an excellent opportunity for A Cappella to work with such a solid and polished group. We accomplished so much musically and vocally in just one hour.”
Several students were eager to share their reflections on the workshop. They stated, “it was really nice to have another group come and work with us! The group was really professional and helpful. It was easy to relate to a group that really wasn’t that much older than us.”

To listen to Dissipated 8 recordings and to order albums, visit their website here.

To learn more about the Cultural Events Series, please click here.

To learn more about the performing arts at White Mountain, please click here.

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