The Bates community comprises many smaller ones, and no community harmonizes better than a cappella.

On Wednesday night, the Crosstones, one of Bates’ half dozen a cappella groups, rehearsed in the Olin Arts center, and this camaraderie was in full voice.

“Crosstones are my favorite part about Bates,” says Katie Allard ’19 of Ridgewood, N.J. “If I could have rehearsal 24/7, I would. It’s just like one big family.”

Newcomer Sam Findlen-Golden ’20 of Amherst, Mass., thoroughly enjoys being part of the bass section. “It’s a blast. We get all the low notes in the song and get to make all the ‘dum dum’ noises.” Singing with the group has set a sweet tone for his first year. “It was the first big thing I got into here and it’s been a formative thing in terms of going through my first year,” he says.

The group began rehearsal in a spot favored by a cappella groups, thanks to its reverberant acoustics: the lobby between the closed doors of the Bates Museum of Art and the rest of Olin, known as the glass box.

There, they ran through a few songs at full strength. While they were performing, members of the Manic Optimists, who had finished their own rehearsal elsewhere in Olin, gathered on the other side of the glass doors to watch and listen.

Here’s a clip from the Crosstones’ rendition of “All These Things That I’ve Done.”

Co-president Maddie McLean ’17 of Hood River, Ore., enjoys the role that music plays at Bates. It’s a very inclusive, fun, and kind community. We all support each other and we all go to each other’s concerts,” she said. Declan Chu ’17 of Winthrop, Maine, adds,  “We push each other to be better.”

Chu elaborates on the impact of Bates a cappella. “It doesn’t just end at Bates. I’m still in contact with alums from the Man Ops and TakeNote who were seniors when I was a freshman. And it’s really nice to have that network,” he says, pausing to laugh, “as a senior trying to get employed.”

McLean sums it up: “You usually leave this rehearsal exhausted, but really happy with what you did.”