The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Spring, community and music collide

Karlen Lambert/Guilfordian
Serendipity kicked-off with a Colorfest on Friday, April 1, drawing out students and community members to partake in the celebration of Spring.

“It was basically any other weekend except with twice the drinking and three times the dancing.”

That was what first-year Elijah Rogan-Kelly reflected on his first Serendipity in an email interview, adding “I went to all the events, and they were lots of fun, a lot of excuses to be a kid again and get weird. I just like to dance.”

Dancing was everywhere last weekend as current students and alumni participated in the annual music and arts festival at Guilford College.

“Honestly, Serendipity is what you make of it,” said junior Colin Nollet in an email interview. “It doesn’t matter if you go to the concerts or not, or if you get drunk or not or even if you go out or not. It’s all about picking and choosing what feels right in the moment.”

The warm spring weather and whispers of a weekend full of community fun signified the beginning of Serendipity.

Colorfest by the lake kicked off Serendipity Weekend with cups full of colorful powder and the promise to leave showers a dark purplish hue.

Space Captain and Dresses

A burst of life blasted from the Alumni Gym on Friday evening, courtesy of Space Captain’s high-energy neo-soul music. The crowd screamed when vocalist Maralisa Simmons-Cook introduced an alumnus to the crowd: Gray Hall ’15 on guitar.

Mid-set, the mood dipped down. As Space Captain shifted to a lower BPM, Simmons-Cook assured the audience there would be plenty of dancing as the night got on, but now was not the time.

“Just get sad for a second,” said Simmons-Cook.

The energy went up again when another alumnus alighted the stage: Jordan Clark ’14. Clark joined Simmons-Cook on the last two songs, including “Easier,” whose smooth chords wafted into the rafters. As the last notes faded, the crowd cried out. They did not want Space Captain to go, but it was time for something a little more intimate.

Minutes later, two singers walked onstage: one in baseball cap, plastic glasses and guitar (or ukulele at times), the other in platform shoes, a bright yellow wristband and an orange dress. This was Dresses, a couple from Portland delivering soft and striking acoustic pop that sometimes resembled lullabies and sometimes delivered lines like “If all my friends are dead and I don’t give a s – – – , does that make me f – – – ed up or more morally cultured?”

Between songs, an audience member asked if they would play “Sun Shy.” When guitarist Jared Ryan Maldonado began singing it two songs later, a flurry of movement broke out on the floor as people spun into dance.

Dresses sang songs of heartbreak and love with the same vivacity as Space Captain, bringing the first night of Serendipity to a close.

Lake Fest

The spring sun was in full force on Saturday for Lake Fest. Live music played over the grass while students shared shaved ice, made tutus and jumped on inflatable contraptions. A lone piece of purple tulle floated up and away over the lake, and alumni like Darius Mangum ‘15 traded Frisbees with current students.

“There is something really cool about being back as an alumnus and seeing friends you haven’t seen in so long,” said Mangum in an online interview.

Clubs and organizations had the opportunity to set up a table at Lake Fest. Sharing something from their club in exchange for new members is another way to strengthen the bond between members of a group.

Expressions in Dance brought a tutu-making station that is always widely popular. People sat on a large blue tarp as they wrapped, tied and braided fabric together.

Headband-making, organic popsicles, polaroid photos and more were all hits at Lake Fest. The Campus Activities Board, CAB, brought a photo-booth, snow-cone stand and more for students to enjoy.

The messiest, however, was the Women’s Rugby Team’s Jell-O Wrestling station.

Students hovered around a blow-up children’s pool filled with hypoallergenic Jell-O. Two students hunched together arm-in-arm as they bobbed and weaved attempting to hurl the other on their back and claim victory.

Between Jell-O wrestling and mayhem in inflatable castles, some celebrating took a turn for the worse as junior Jared Willis broke his glasses on the bouncy house.

“(We) were kinda trying to wrestle,” said Willis in an online interview. “(It) was just me and one other person left. … We do a flip, and they end up falling on top of my head … snapping (my) glasses in two.

“It wasn’t a horrible experience, just kind of bothersome to be walking around half-blind for a few days.”

Blue Roots Experiment and DJ Inferno

The Guilford-born Blue Roots Experiment graced the stage Saturday night. Arms waved in the air and smiles spread across faces as the musical alums returned to campus.

Blue Roots Experiment are a hip-hop group rooted in jazz, and Guilfordians enjoyed their music as they danced and swayed in a way that they could only from music that acted like an old friend returning.

“One more song! One more song!” echoed through the gym. The crowd pleaded as the band thanked everyone for coming out.

The six band members — Jordan Clark ’14, Ben Espinola ’14, Ben Matlack ’15, Gray Hall ’15, Alice Gushue ’15 and senior Donovan Duvall — left the stage with a promise to return to the North Apartments later that night.

Any other band or DJ comes to campus, plays a great show, looks out into the crowd and feels accomplished, but with Blue Roots, something felt much more special.

They came to campus and got to see their old friends and classmates rather than just strangers. They played a great show for their community, a community with whom they shared something great. When they looked out into the crowd, it seemed like they felt something much more than accomplishment.

At the top of the set, Clark looked over the crowd of Guilfordians and said that, while he had already told this to friends that day, it was worth stating again: It was good to be back.

The band left such a mark on campus. Pride filled the hearts of students as they saw a current student and very recent alumni making a name for themselves.

DJ Inferno headlined Saturday night, bringing an upbeat vibe to the Alumni Gym. The familiar pop hits mixed with his own unique style left everyone dancing as they tried to guess how the music would develop.

Later in the evening, Blue Roots made a second appearance in the North Apartments. Students were overjoyed to see them return once again.

The 43rd annual Serendipity was another success. Celebrating spring and coming together as a community to share experiences proved to be exactly the break from academics that students needed.

“Overall, I think Serendipity was a retreat away from the stress of assignments and obligations of college life where everyone got a moment to feel like everything was all right,” said Rogan-Kelley. “I’m looking forward to the next three years.”

Was Serendipity successful?

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