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The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

Student Org Spotlight: A Cappella Groups

Graphic by Bernadette Whitely ’26.

Welcome back to Student Org Spotlight: the column where we highlight different groups of student organizations on campus to increase awareness of the many orgs that students are engaged in. 

This week, we will be venturing into the world of singing by featuring Macalester’s three a cappella groups: The Macalester Sirens, Mac of All Trades (MOAT) and The Macalester Traditions (Trads). 

These groups, while similar at first glance, each have their own style and flair that they bring to campus events. 


First, meet the Sirens, Macalester’s fem-identifying a cappella group. The group is well-known for its annual Valentine’s Day “Sirenades” that combine mini-performances with charity. Students can purchase a “Sirenade” from a catalog of love songs (and anti-love songs) to send to the classroom of their desired target, and the money raised is donated to a charity chosen by the Sirens for that year. This year they donated all proceeds to support Gaza.

Sirens member Jane He ’27 reflected on the chaos and joy that Sirenades brings to campus.

“It was a really long day of singing 30 Sirenades,” He said. “Some of them were good, some of them were bad, but we did it! And then we raised $189 for Gaza, which was really great. I think it really speaks to our values.”

The Sirens’ utilization of community engagement on campus, in turn, fosters community within the org. Sirens member Iris Fokam Signe ’26 emphasized the importance of friendship.

“We share a lot of love,” Fokam Signe said. “This love that we share by bringing people closer makes us grow.”

When it comes to the growth of the org, the Sirens say their main goal is maintaining the community and staying present on campus. Sirens president Merel Adriaanse ’25 added that she is also interested in bringing back traditions from before COVID-19. 

“There was an event that the Sirens used to organize pre COVID-19 that would bring all the a cappella groups from the Twin Cities [colleges] … to Mac,” Adriaanse said. “It was called ‘aca palooza’, and we thought about bringing it back … so maybe [there’s] potential in the future.”

Adriaanse reflected on the cross-generational relationship that current Sirens have with alumni.

“Even once you leave, we have alumni events,” Adriaanse said. “We did one last year. It’s cool to see people who went to Mac 40 years ago and talk to them about how Sirens influenced their life.” The Sirens spring concert will occur on Tuesday, April 30, 7-8 p.m. at Mairs Hall.

Mac of All Trades (MOAT)

Next, we turn to MOAT, the campus’s only all-inclusive a cappella group. Founded in the spring of 2021, MOAT aims to bring a service-minded focus to the world of a cappella. 

 Co-president Rhiannon DeMilt ’24 discussed the group’s mission. 

“Everything that we do is an attempt to get ourselves out into the community,” DeMilt said. “The greater community, not [just] the Macalester community.” 

Even when staying at Macalester, MOAT interacts with many different sides of campus, including singing at Fall Fest, Kombucha Kickback and the Founding Day Student Showcase. 

“[MOAT has] introduced me to a lot of people that I wouldn’t have [met] otherwise,” Co-President Will Tandy ’24 said. “I just really appreciate the social elements of it.” 

DeMilt also discussed the freedoms that come from a student-run singing group compared to other on-campus vocal performance opportunities. 

“We pick all of our songs, and we have a lot more say [in our music] as [members] of the a capella group than you do as a member of a choir,” DeMilt said.

Tandy highlighted that MOAT’s bonding activities are possible due to the student-led format, reinforcing relationships between members of the org.

“Outside of formal rehearsal time … we’ve done movie nights, we’ve done dancing nights [and] we’ve gone ice skating,” Tandy said.

DeMilt encourages anyone interested in joining MOAT to reach out, whether that is to ask about auditions or set up a time to come see what the group is all about. She specified that MOAT has had people sit in on rehearsals, and they would be happy to have people join them again.

The MOAT concert will occur on Wednesday, May 1 in Mairs Concert Hall at 7 p.m.

Macalester Traditions (Trads)

The last piece to this a cappella puzzle is the Trads, the low voices group. While the Trads presidents are studying abroad this semester, Nicholas Miller ’25 and Felix Sun ’26 have filled in the role of interim presidents.

Known as the silliest a cappella group on campus, the Trads mix comedy and audience interaction into their performances.

“We showcase what we’ve done, but we just want to have fun and we want everyone in the audience to have fun,” Miller said. Sun explained that these fun aspects of the org are just as prevalent in concerts as they are in rehearsal.

“My favorite part about Macalester Traditions is having our own traditions,” Sun said. “We have ways of greeting each other, gestures and specific vocabularies to describe our roles. For example … ‘spanking’ is a song that’s passed on from previous Trads.”

A part of making the Trads a fun environment derives from its inclusivity. Sun emphasized how the Trads are “an inclusive space where kids come and literally have fun by singing.”

Miller added that the Trads make sure auditions aren’t stressful for prospective members. “[Some] people in Trads have had no prior musical experience or singing experience,” Miller said. “If you want to sing, sing! You don’t need to have accolades.” The tentative date for the Trads’ spring concert is Tuesday, April 30, 8-9 p.m. in Mairs Hall.

No matter which a cappella group is your favorite, it’s clear that these orgs bring energy to Macalester’s campus. Across the three different groups, one sentiment is central: the power of music is instrumental in fostering a sense of community. 

“Music itself is a very universal language,” Sun said. “So it’s always fun to have an a cappella group that doesn’t only [sing], but then [uses] singing to tie people together.” 


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Audrey Milk
Audrey Milk, Opinion Editor
Audrey Milk ’26 (she/her) is the opinion editor from Mars, Pa. She is a history major with a minor in political science and a concentration in Human Rights and Humanitarianism. Audrey has been doing competitive color guard for five years and is attempting to learn how to juggle.

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