'Tonics alumni return for 25th anniversary celebration
By Alexa Abrams '13
A cappella has the ability to bring a group of people together through music and turn that group into a close-knit family. The weekend of April 20 was one of great celebration as the Binghamtonics - Binghamton University's oldest co-ed a cappella group - brought its alumni, friends and family together to commemorate its 25th anniversary.
(Photo courtesy of Michelle Canals)
Alumni gathered Saturday morning with a reception before the daytime show in the Chamber Hall, followed by a dinner at Mad Moose and culminating with a Sunday morning brunch. At the dinner, all of the 'Tonics broke out into song together, belting their classic "Sweet Child of Mine." This memorable moment exemplifies the 'Tonics spirit that was felt during the celebratory weekend.
The 'Tonics are all about tradition, and many of those traditions have carried through generations of the group. Bass names, skits, chants and "tonicality," an inherent trait in all 'Tonics, instantaneously unites all members old and new. During the show, alumni took to the stage and joined the current group for alumni songs "Change in my Life" and "Joy to the World," which features the newest members as soloists and is symbolic of the new members joining with the alumni.
"Everyone is so warm and welcoming," said Shawn Weil '98. "When you have intense shared experiences — long hours of rehearsals, road trips, recording sessions — you can't help but develop strong relationships."
Founding member Alan Stein '90 attended the festivities with family in tow. "The 'Tonic alumni experience was very special," he said. "It gives me a great sense of pride to know that something that was so important to me as a student is still alive, excelling and carrying on the tradition of co-ed a cappella."
The Binghamtonics played a large role in the beginning of many friendships and relationships. Over the years, there have been 'Tonic houses, reunions and weddings. Like many alumni, Weil found himself living with 'Tonics through most of college. "My best college friend was my roommate and a 'Tonic. Now, he lives 20 minutes from me in the Boston suburbs, and I love watching our kids play together. 'Tonics did that.
"What I loved and what I miss most are the people in the group," Weil said. "That's what endures."