Pomona College is conveniently situated in the heart of Southern California, less then an hour east of Los Angeles or north of Orange County. Catching a concert in Hollywood, taking a trip to Disneyland or Six Flags, or going to a Clippers game are just some of the things on the long list of things students can indulge in while living in Claremont. Throughout the semester, Pomona even organizes subsidized trips to make sure that cost or transportation issues don’t preclude students from having these experiences.
As you get deeper into the semester, however, I’ve found that it gets harder and harder to find time to get off-campus for these grander trips. When there’s always another paper around the corner, another midterm even though you swear you just had one, and a bunch of friends to catch meals with, it’s easy to opt into staying on campus on the weekends.
Luckily for Pomona students, sometimes the fun comes to us.
Bridges Auditorium is a performing arts venue located in the middle of Pomona’s campus. Seating over 2,500, “Big Bridges” has hosted some of the biggest names in music like Taylor Swift, Childish Gambino, John Legend, and LMFAO; in comedy like Demetri Martin, Wanda Sykes, and Aziz Ansari; and mostly recently, one of the biggest names in the realm of a cappella, The Real Group!
A lot of you probably aren’t familiar with The Real Group, so indulge me for like one second: They’re an a cappella group from Sweden, and they’ve been touring the world for almost 30 years and have released 17 albums. They rarely come to the U.S., let alone just steps from our dorm rooms, so us a cappella folk here just about died when we found out that they’d be stopping on campus during their tour!
My a cappella group, the After School Specials, alongside another 5C a cappella group the Claremont Shades, had the opportunity to open the show before The Real Group hit the stage, an incredible opportunity given that the show drew so many genuine a cappella aficionados from all over California! We had the chance to talk to a bunch of big names (including arrangers/musical directors for The Sing-Off and Pitch Perfect, contestants from The Sing-Off, members of other well-known groups, etc.) and even talk about our competing in the ICCA this year, not to mention getting to meet The Real Group themselves!
The coolest part of this wasn’t just watching one of the world’s most acclaimed vocals groups without having to drive an hour to LA, but getting the chance to engage our rich a cappella community at the Claremont Colleges with the larger a cappella community in southern California. Just more proof that life in the Inland Empire isn’t so drab when you’re at Pomona!