The Octet kicked off the school year with energetic performances at both the school-wide jamboree as well as the traditional entry sings. After a highly competitive and impressive series of auditions, the group welcomed three talented new members: Abiy Hailemichael ’10, Aroop Mukharji ’09 and James R Trotta ’10. The year’s first concert occurred at Currier Ballroom with the Accidentals. The highlight of the show was no doubt Eugene Hermando Won ’09 on the Chinese Yo-Yo during halftime. While Dan Wollin ’07 jammed on a disco music-box in the background, Eugene stunned the crowd with his ridiculous abilities, capturing the hearts of innumerable freshman girls and Daniel Yudkin, ’08. The group also roadtripped to Smith and Wheaton College. Nothing happened.
In December, the Octet once again found itself singing with girls. The final semester concert was sung with Ephoria, and culminated in a joint-rendition of the coming of age classic “Too Close,” by the Beatles. The group also performed “How Deep Is the Ocean,” an arrangement by the Octet’s founder, Warren Hunke ’42.
As the Year of the Dog blossomed into the Year of the Pig, signalling the beginning of Winter Study, the Octet decided it was necessary to host a Winter Training Retreat in Manchester, VT, to instruct the young ones in the arts of hunting wild animals, brewing moonshine and other manly things that a capella groups do when they are not singing. The retreat was followed by the annual Pub Crawl, marked by much lively intellectual discourse, and a group trip to New York. The foray into the city saw an unofficial intergenerational reunion, as Octet veterans from as early as ’99 were present. The senior class, however, was conspicuously absent, and were reportedly “rubbing tanning lotion on one another.”
The arrival of spring semester brought about the return of class and more importantly, Octet rehearsal. The group also roadtripped to Wellesley College, the highlight of which was Tommy Gill ’08. Later in the semester, finding itself inundated with women and the prospect of singing with them again, the Octet decided to host a follow-up to the Women’s Center’s Vulvapalooza (at which the Octet performed)- an all-male a capella festival, co-hosted by the Springstreeters, aptly titled “Scrotapalooza.” High points included poetry readings, a song about flank steak and fully choreographed song-and-dance numbers.
Spring Break soon followed the Octet’s legendary glorification of manhood, and was celebrated with a road trip to New Orleans. The trip had a number of stops that included other colleges, single hotel rooms and Wawa’s. Good times were had, and suprisingly little singing was done.
As the end of the semester became a reality, the Octet found itself dreading the departure of one of its strongest classes. It was time, unfortunately, to say goodbye to the colorful and musical seniors of ’07: Merritt “Mad Dog” Edlind, Blake E. B. Emerson, Auyon Mukharji, David Culver Senft, and Daniel Joaquim Wollin. Their formal exodus into the world of Octet alumdom was marked by the receipt of a magic eight ball, followed by their respective senior solo. Blake Emerson’s rendition of Jay-Z’s “I Just Wanna Love You” was particularly noteworthy. The group ended the year laying down a few tracks at a local studio before bidding farewell to the senior class. All in all, the year was a massive success, filled with memorable concerts, roadtrips and parties, and far too much fraternal love.
Aroop Mukharji ’09 and Auyon Mukharji ’07
Members, Williams Octet ’06-’07