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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Manginah’s melodious semester show astounds audience

Published: November 16, 2012
Section: Arts, Etc.

With the end of the semester quickly arriving, it is now the season for a capella semester shows. Starting the shows off with a bang, Manginah’s semester show this past Sunday was quite a hit. The venue, in Mandel, was tastefully designed with leaves scattered in the front of the room.Their show lacked a clever theme, but did not appear wanting. The show’s purpose was not to conform to a theme but merely to cater to the enjoyment of their audience and in that regard it was a complete success.

Their simple attire of gray and black added a level of elegance to the show. All the chairs in Mandel were filled with current students, family of the performers and various alumni returned, some with their own children. There was standing room only for those who arrived just a few minutes late—a shout out to Manginah’s following and skill.

Their first song, “Bulgarian Chicks” made for an upbeat opening: the piece had no lyrics, but focused totally on rhythm, showcasing the groups ability to successfully blend their voices.

The second song brought them into their typical set list, which generally consisted of Hebrew songs, and Israeli pop. The solo by Mathew Kuruvinakekunnel ’15 added a new element to a particular song as he truly made it his own. His duet with Matt Sidel added yet another complex layer.

Another song, “Chelek Mimcha,” a clear crowd favorite did not fail to please this time around. Gabriella Fiengold’s solo, as always, was beautifully done. Their strong selection of Israeli and Hebrew music draws a certain crowd to their shows, but even students who do not fully understand the songs and the meaning behind them showed up to support their friends. Their number “Even Ma’asu Bonim,” a classic the alumni throughout the room recognized, was another crowd favorite.

“Ani Chavatzelet,” performed by Jenna Kahane ’15 was beautiful and moving to listen to. Although Kahane is one of the group’s newer members, her talent and role as an asset to the group was evident. The crowd’s reaction to her song was a testament to the power of her talent, as a deep hush fell over the crowd.

Before a 15-minute intermission, Manginah showed off the blending of the group through six different songs, all of which the crowd enjoyed immensely. After their intermission, during which Manginah sold their most recent CD and promoted a pre-order of their up-and-coming CD, the newest members of the group performed a skit. The “Newbie Skit,” usually performed at their first coffeehouse, shows off the newest members of the group. Jenna Kahane ’15 and Racheli Berkovitz ’15 imitated the other members, eliciting many laughs from the group members and the occasional audience members who had knew the other singers.

After their skit, when the rest of group returned, the last few numbers, among which were “Ah Ah Ah Ahava” and their signature song “Amen” were huge crowd-pleasers as well. In her solo, Coby Fleischman ’14 was vastly entertaining as she infused the song with great energy through physical movement.

As with most semester shows, when the alumni returns, the current members invite them to come sing a song with them. Manginah’s final number, their signature “Amen,” featured the alumni, expanding Manginah to a large semi-circle on the stage. The cohesiveness of the people on stage, some of whom had not sang the song with the group in years, showed the strong sense of community within Manginah.

The warmth and entertainment provided by the group made the event an enjoyable half-hour. The wide attendance of current students and alumni reminded Brandeis of the thorough connections that exist between members of groups like Manginah. Manginah’s strong connection to their alumni and the singing culminated very well, with the new Manginah members and alumni introducing themselves to one another and hearing about their experience in the group years ago. It was, from the perspective of the audience, heartwarming to see.