Acclaimed US college a capella group the Dissipated Eight was on song in Bermuda recently with a performance which included a local variation on Harry Belafonte’s classic “Kingston Town.”
On the last night of a Spring Break visit to the island in March, the group sang at local residence “Knapton House” for a few graduates and local supporters of Vermont’s Middlebury College.
Also known as the D8, the Dissipated Eight is the oldest a cappella group at Middlebury.
The group performs both nationally and internationally, at private venues, colleges, and high schools alike. Over the years, the group has arranged numerous contemporary and modern pieces, and now has more than 200 recorded covers of popular music.
They generally do not use any instruments in their recordings, and instead carefully select different pitches to simulate the tones needed for each song.
This often means recreating sounds such as the high-pitched tone of the fiddle in “The Devil Went Down To Georgia” or the bass and snare of the drum set in “All Along The Watchtower.”
Several former members of the Dissipated Eight have gone on to gain prominence, including international opera performer William Burden, television and film actor Jake Weber, and author/editor Peter Knobler.
The Dissipated Eight has released a total of 21 albums of vinyl and CD since the group was formed in 1952.