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Yale’s Magevet singing group puts on concert at Southern

Submitted by admin on Mon, 11/15/2010 – 20:23

Olivia Richman

Staff Writer

They know Hebrew, Ladino, Yiddish and African. They can sing and they came to Southern Connecticut State University to perform. They are Yale’s a capella group, Magevet, and they were awesome, said
Amanda Alter, a member of SCSU’s Hillel Jewish Student Organization group.

“It was very upbeat, comical and light-hearted,” said Alter, a graphic design major. “It was very refreshing.”
A capella, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, is singing without instrumental accompaniment.

The Magevet is Yale’s premier a capella singing group that focuses on singing Jewish, Hebrew and Israeli songs. Magevet, according to their webpage, have toured around the U.S. and the world.

Getting Magevet to perform at SCSU has been a long process, said Dr. Deborah Weiss, the advisor for the JSO.

“Last year (the JSO) said we were interested in the group coming to our campus,” said Weiss. “We applied for funding through the Student Government Association, which authorizes cultural events on campus.”

According to Weiss, the JSO planned to have around 80 guests and ended up with more than they expected.

“We had about 90 to 100 people,” said Weiss. “People from campus – student and faculty – and people from the community. The president (Stanley Battle) was there and the VP of Student Affairs (Ronald Herron). I got an e-mail from the president’s secretary saying that he wanted me to know that he loved it.”

Weiss said Alter was very involved in the Magevet concert.

“I helped set up, gave an introduction, served soup, took some soup – it was good, that soup – and cleaned up,” said Alter. “It was a good introduction. I briefly described what they’re about but left room for the group to talk about themselves. They had a lot to say.”

According to Weiss, Magevet, who performed in semi-formal attire, did a collection of modern and historical
songs in many different languages.

“The last song was in African,” said Weiss. “They said it was a language from an ancient Ugandan tribe.”
“It sounded so cool,” said Alter.

Magevet also seemed to be one thing that got the audience excited: funny.

“They had a great sense of humor,” said Weiss. “At the beginning, Magevet said they were going to introduce ‘ourselves.’ They turned to each other and began shaking each other’s hands and telling each other their names. Then the leader said, ‘No. Introduce ourselves to them.’ It was very funny.”

According to Alter they took breaks between each piece to tell stories about the songs they were singing. At
the end, they had a question and answer session.

“(One of the audience members asked) how they got their name, which means ‘towel’ in Hebrew,” said Weiss. “The group started from four men singing a capella at a sauna at Yale, just harmonizing. They decided to make a group and wondered what to call it. They named it after the first thing they saw, which was a towel.”

According to Weiss, Magevet also has a rush program similar to that of a sorority or fraternity. She said that students must audition for the group and there are call-backs.

After that there are social gatherings they must attend because “the group members know they are going to be together a lot.”

After the concert Weiss said they had a reception afterwards in the food court area outside of the theater.

Students and volunteers had set up the food, which was catered by ACI Catering of Woodbridge, Conn.

Shaina Gameche, the president of the JSO, said, “The concert was awesome!”

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