HomeColby 8

School or Affiliation: Colby
Waterville, ME

Colby 8

The Colby 8 has been in existence, more or less officially, since 1947. We are Colby College's premier all-male a capella group, and we never fail to please!

The following is an excerpt from the early "History of the "Colby Eight" 1947-51:

Out of the turmoil of World War II, many new elements found their way to the Colby Campus; some discordant, some harmonious -- all however, struggling to break through to the new "peacetime" pace.

It was this kind of atmosphere that prevailed during October of 1947 when an event occurred which was to have a profound effect on the musical life at Colby. Many of the events affecting world history have occurred with little fanfare and no apparent significance at the time of their occurrence, yet their significance was to become enormous. Such was the birth of the "Colby Eight."

Credit for the conception and the midwifery of this brainchild goes to two "singing fools" -- Ed Waller '49 and Dick Leonard '50 -- who underwent the labor pains of giving birth to the group and who nursed it through the early days of its infancy. At that first rehearsal, the original group (Dick Leonard '50, Ed Waller '49, Phil Lawrence '50, Connie White '49, Bob Armitage '50, George Bowers '50, Tom Samuelson '49, Hal Wormuth '50 and Bump Bean '51) were gathered around a tinny old piano that had been left to gather dust on the second floor of Roberts Union, sixteen eyes were glued to the only copy of the old Yale Song Book owned by the group (total investment, 95 cents), eight mouths opened and the simple old spiritual "Talk About Jerusalem Morning" burst forth. What we heard, we liked, and with this first major encouragement, the Eight was on its way.

Among the early songs which were included in the group's repertoire were such old barbershop favorites as Aura Lee, One Two Three Four, Shall I Wasting In Despair, Mavourneen, Carolina Moon, Cocaine Bill and Morphine Sue, Graceful and Easy, Old Ark's-a-Movering, and George Jones. We even attempted to add a slightly more modern flavor to our programs by including a stock arrangement of "Mood Indigo" which was high-jacked during a post-concert elbow-bending contest held in the Pine Tree Tavern. As legend would have it, that same arrangement is still being sung by present-day Colby Eight groups.


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