A Cappella at Trinity: Reflections from an Accidental

3 min read

Nick Cimillo ’26

Contributing Writer

Before coming to Trinity as a freshman, I, like any high school senior eager to start college, did my research on extracurriculars. In my search, one organization caught my attention: Trinity’s all-male a cappella group, the Accidentals. At that point, I was still unsure about whether I wanted to continue with singing beyond high school, but I kept the Accidentals in the back of my mind. But, coming onto campus, I attended a few of their performances, took a stab at auditioning during the spring semester, and was accepted. And I am very grateful I was.

In the semester that I have been a Dent, I have learned some groovy music, performed in on-campus concerts with other Trinity a cappella groups, attended a reunion concert with alumni dating back to the class of ’95, and discovered the meaning of a mysterious acronym (SFTB!). My initial hesitation in joining came from a practical perspective; after all, how would performing in a singing group help me towards my public policy and English double major? But as my first semester at Trinity progressed, I longed more and more for a musical outlet. I desperately missed performing, and, knowing the restorative power of music, wanted to be a part of something that brought smiles to people’s faces. In that regard, becoming an Accidental was just what I needed.

But along the way, I have come to an important understanding: while I may have joined the group merely for the music, my reason for staying goes far beyond that. In my experience, my fellow Accidentals have been nothing short of the most genuine, supportive, and heartwarmingly chaotic band of brothers I have the pleasure of knowing. The group’s atmosphere is one of constant understanding and non-judgement, lending itself to a sense of solidarity and brotherhood that shines through in our high-energy performances. While each of us loves performing for its own sake, it is when you do it alongside a group you could consider your own family that it becomes something special.

Of course, bombastic shows are nothing new for the Accidentals. Over our 30-year history, we have been spreading joy at frequent on-campus and many off-campus gigs; we have performed at the 1996 Presidential Debates, the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, DC, and countless colleges nationwide. Additionally, we got first place at the Nutmeg A Cappella Slam in 2005 and 2007, besting all others in Connecticut. Trinity’s other a cappella groups are nothing to sneeze at, either: the Pipes are the oldest co-ed a cappella group in the nation, the all-female Trinitones have released two albums on Spotify and iTunes, and the femme-focused Quirks have opened for the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall.

All four a cappella groups will perform at the Welcome Back concert this Friday Sept. 29 at 7 p.m. in the Chapel with auditions happening directly after. Joining an a cappella group has been one of the most rewarding decisions of my college career, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for community and belonging through music.

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  1. 1
    Finley Harckham

    Great piece! You will also find that once your groupmates go on to get married you will likely be called upon to sing at their weddings, which is a very special way the brotherhood continues on. One small addition for the history books: don’t forget about the Accidentals’ first official international tour to England in 2010 or the several unofficial adventures in Montreal. SFTB!

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