Mediocre: definitely more than its name suggests
Colby Echo (Eliza Adams)
Four years ago, on an ordinary night in the Student Government Association (SGA) office, freshman class council members discussed the possibility of introducing an inclusive and welcoming performing arts group to life on the Hill. The group would be a space for those who fall somewhere between an Adele performance and a tone deaf, throwback sing-along. Class council members envisioned the club as fostering community and camaraderie among first years. Current-seniors Kat Restrepo and Addie Bullock took the proposal to SGA and the Mediocre acapella group was born.
Though it’s a boisterous group that now fills the entirety of the Ostrove stage, Mediocre had humble beginnings, starting with just eight members. Restrepo acknowledged that the club has grown not only in numbers (they have a roster of 24) but also in how it has expanded to different corners of Colby. She said, “When we started as freshmen, Mediocre was sort of just one friend group. Now we have people from all over campus which is amazing.” The club has also increased its performances and it additionally sings at samplers, admitted students weekends, and other events on campus in addition to their own concerts.
With the growth have come significant challenges. As Tomotaka Cho `18 notes, arranging music for such a large group with a wide range of abilities can be extremely difficult. “We manage to come up with a song that works for everyone, but it takes some more effort to practice and get a song together, and not many people realize that,” Cho said. Other members corroborated this sentiment and added that though the heavy lifting of arranging often falls to just a few, every group member always brings energy and a passion for singing to club meetings that make it all worth it.
It’s apparent from Mediocre’s energy-filled, spirited concerts that the group has a lot of fun together. Many members highlight the sense of community the club has given them. Liz Swain `19 said: “Mediocre is such a blend of students from different class years, majors, sports teams, and clubs, and it’s truly a special thing we can come together to do something we all love — sing.” Members also point to the freeing feeling of being in a space where it is entirely encouraged to be nothing more than mediocre for an hour each week. Jamie Schwartz `18 feels that this weekly meeting of singing, dancing and sharing “mediocre moments” of the week serves as a great source of motivation to power through homework and classes.
When pressed to remember their favorite Mediocre memory, many members pointed to the group’s first concert on Dana Beach. Gretchen O’Brien ’18 recounts that she was nervous that the audience would be scarce, but to her surprise, attendees filled much of the open-air space. Members also recall their favorite onstage performances, which range from “F*ck You” by Cee Lo Green (Mediocre’s first performance) to “Where Is The Love” by the Black Eyed Peas.
Mediocre members continue to look ahead and set goals for the future. Senior members say that they hope the club continues long after they graduate. Restrepo added, “It has just made an impact on my Colby career and I hope others get to feel that as well.” Members also want to ensure that their audience has just as much fun as the performers at each concert. Swain noted that they hope to include more audience participation in upcoming shows. In addition to longevity and inclusion, members also mentioned a dream of theirs: to perform on the Ellen Degeneres Show.
Catch Mediocre at Admitted Students Weekend and their annual spring concert, which will be officially announced soon!