The Hangovers, a male a capella group at Cornell University, spent nine days touring and performing in Belgium, Germany, Holland and France in late May and early June.
The 20 men on tour included current members as well as Hangover alumni. Old and new members met each other and were able to perform together for the first time as well as pass along traditions.
The tour was organized by Hangovers president, Chris Noble '03 and sponsored by DER Travel, a Syracuse based travel agency, and Heidelberg, a German cement company. Performances were held at the Eiffel Tower, the American Embassy and Disneyland in Paris, the European Space Agency (ESA) as well as hotels, plazas and restaurants.
Despite language and cultural barriers, the music was much appreciated, according to Jeremy Riley '04, Hangovers business manager.
"We were able to relate very well to people over there because music has a universal meaning. To make it [even] easier, we learned German songs and [other] songs that are popular in Europe," she said.
A concert of particular significance to Andy Goldin '03, the musical director was in Disneyland. "We were able to play to a different group of people than we're used to. It was new because we're so used to college kids. It was a special moment to play for [young children]."
The tour was not entirely focused on music, and the group also found time to tour German castles and take a Rhine river cruise among other activities. "We had a really great time [and] experienced European culture to its fullest," said Noble.
The tour also brought the group closer together, Goldin said.
"We were forced to be with each other 24 hours a day for 9 days and rehearsing and preparing for concerts isn't enough of a forced bonding experience, but living together and [spending] so much time together makes a difference. You realize everyone is here for the same reason: to make music and have fun," said Goldin.
It was Brian Gacioch's '04 first international tour with the Hangovers as well as a "great opening experience."
"I've done tours with groups in high school but never with this level of camaraderie. [By] the end, we were having a great time with each other everyday -- doing great concerts and having incredible amounts of fun. I can't say enough good things about it," said Gacioch.
The Hangovers are "one of the only a capella groups who can travel every year," said Riley. In the past two years, the group toured Jamaica twice and visited Germany and Switzerland in addition to releasing their CD entitled "Shot in the Dark."
This past summer's tour included a repeat performance in Darmstadt, Germany as well. The group performed there last year and were amazed to return to the city to find people they knew. It also made their performances there more comfortable.
The Hangovers plan to continue touring internationally.
"The tour was a huge success. We made an enormous number of contacts for potential future trips. We were received very well by everyone over there and we can't wait to go back," said Goldin.
Even before the next tour, the Hangovers have plenty to look forward to. Later this fall, they will have their annual fall concert, "Fall Tonic 23." The Hangovers are also celebrating their 35th anniversary this year with 150 alumni members.
Archived article by Diana Lo