Courtesy of the Touchtones

November 10, 2019

The Touchtones’ ‘Midas Touch’ — A Golden Cornell Performance

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This past Saturday evening, Cornell’s all-female a cappella group the Touchtones hosted a dazzling performance in Call Auditorium. Titled “Midas Touch,” the 14-person group put on a spectacular display of vocals and showmanship, attracting almost a full hall of students and fans. They performed a total of nine songs, with all of them impressively arranged by current and past members of the group.

Founded in 1983, the Touchtones are proudly the “first officially recognized a cappella group” of Cornell University. At 36 years of age, the group is still active and performing at charities, student functions and even marriage proposals, as displayed on their website.

As a person who is not usually interested in a cappella, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself thoroughly enjoying the night’s show. Although the group featured a large lineup of singers, they were quite successful in keeping their choreography clean, which is crucial for large groups. There were also many solos in their array of songs, which allowed multiple members to showcase their abilities and bathe briefly in the spotlight. Like all performances, there were some songs that stood out more than others; their playful ABBA medley, for example, was one that the crowd responded to enthusiastically.

I was particularly impressed with the Touchtones’ arrangement of LSD’s “Genius,” featuring Sia, Diplo and Labrinth. Maxine Malvar ’21 and Lydia Buckley ’21 had marvelous solos, with Maxine’s voice almost drowned out by the cheers of the audience as the song hit its climax. Their seamless choreography appeared effortless, and under the bright lights their golden outfits made them seem like they were actually touched by King Midas.

The Touchtones’ final song, a mashup of Bruno Mars’ “Runaway” and Florence + the Machine’s “Dog Days Are Over,” was my personal favorite; the slower rendition of the songs really allowed for soloist Nicole Lehman ’20 to shine. The transitions between the two songs were incredibly smooth, and the other singers’ voices complemented the solo beautifully. An alumna of the group also made a reappearance, performing alongside her juniors in a touching and fun reunion.

All in all, the Touchtones’ performance was truly golden, with amazing singing and choreography. I highly recommend checking out future performances as well as their most recent EP No Vacancy on Spotify.


Brian Lu is a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences. He can be reached at [email protected].