The Caius Men and The Gonville Girls

For Bronze Arts Award

The Caius Men and The Gonville Girls

I went to see The Caius Men and The Gonville Girls perform on 26th November 2016 at the Gonville and Caius College Chapel.  This was very different from the rock concerts I have been to before.  I went because my friend Evelyn Henderson-Child was part of the choir.

The Gonville Girls is an all-female a cappella group who sing a selection of popular and jazz numbers in sweet harmony. Their highlights over the last few years have included gigs at La Raza, Gonville & Caius Music Society recital series, Trinity May Ball, a 'riff-off' with the Sidney SusSex Pistols, and numerous other balls and garden parties.  Their logo was designed by my friend Evie which I am very proud to say.

Caius Men were formed in September of 2013, and comprise the male choral scholars of the choir of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. The group specialises in unique arrangements of pop, jazz and close harmony tunes, as well as sacred music from the 13th to the 21st century.

At the recital I attended, they sang: Accentuate The Positive, I’m Yours, Pompeii, Stille Nacht, Frosty The Snowman, Away In The Manger, 12 Days Of Christmas/Africa, The Way You Look Tonight, I Say A Little Prayer, The Dock Of The Bay, That Man, Diamonds Are A Girls Best Friend.

They were very creatively arranged and I was constantly engaged by the harmony.  I was amazed by the way they needed no instruments to accompany them.  My favourite song by the Caius men was 12 days of Christmas/Africa because it was really funny and witty how they combined many Christmas songs e.g. “on the second said of Christmas my true love sent to me.....Rudolph the red nose reindeer!”.  My favourite piece by the Gonville Girls was “That Man”.  I really liked the Alto and the riffs in between.  I connected more with the Gonville Girls because of my friend Evie performing.

I would highly recommend booking them for any private functions or attending one of their recitals.  

Author

Roan McAuley

Roan McAuley

Roan is a guitarist working towards his Bronze Arts Award.

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4 Comments

  • Luke Taylor

    On 4 April 2018, 16:14 Luke Taylor commented:

    Acapella is definitely a brilliant form of music - very talented individuals as well.

  • Roan McAuley

    On 18 April 2018, 20:58 Roan McAuley commented:

    Yes! It is! You have very good taste Luke! 🎶

  • Laurie McKichan

    On 22 April 2018, 19:49 Laurie McKichan commented:

    I love that you took a chance and went and saw this performance even though it appears to be outside of what you prefer to listen to and go see.  Your honesty in saying you saw this performance because of your friend Evelyn helps the reader gain an insight into your review by understanding your reasoning for attending the concert.  It's not your typical response of, "I love their music and want to see them live"!

    Would most people in the UK be familiar with these groups?  Unfortunately, I needed to look up Gonville and Caius College to get some context into where they were performing and from hence they took their names. (It wasn't until paragraph three that you mention that Gonville and Caius College is in Cambridge.)   It might be nice to include a paragraph after the opening paragraph describing where they perform and some back history before moving on to individual descriptions of the Gonville Girls versus the Caius Men.  For example, do they always perform together or was this a rare occasion?  From your description, the Caius Men appear to be a college sponsored group but are the Gonville Girls?

    You did a wonderful job of describing the styles of each of the groups and I have a clear picture in my head of the types of songs and manner in which they sing.  I was wondering if, for this concert, the two groups sang any songs together?  You mention your favorite song by the Caius Men and then by the Gonville Girls so I assume then never actually sang any songs together.  

    I can tell you appreciate the work that these groups put into their music and your insight in noting their arrangement, harmony, and wit (!) shows your interest in the details and nuances of music.

    You noted that you connected more with the Gonville Girls because of your friend Evie.  I wonder what you would have thought had you not known anyone going into the performance?

    You have certainly peeked my interest in wanting to see both of these groups.  I was not able to find a lot of information online beside a Facebook page for each and a YouTube video of the Caius Men performing.  It is safe to say the best way to see them is live! 

  • Roan McAuley

    On 22 April 2018, 21:15 Roan McAuley commented:

    Hi Laurie,

    thank you for your review. Gonville and Caius is a College in Cambridge which I can take you to the next time you visit the UK. Unfortunately they will be away during the summer break, so you are unlikely to be able to catch a performance in the summer holidays. I found out about the concert from Evie but I enjoyed the music anyway. I really appreciate the time you spent reviewing what I have written.

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