The Daily Gamecock

The Cocktails: fierce, fiery females


The Cocktails, an all female a cappella group, was founded in 2002 to provide a female-dominated musical group option on campus.

The current president, Katie Crisco, joined second semester of her first year in the spring of 2013. She has been an active member in choir for as long as she can remember, but has never formally studied music.

“The Cocktails welcomed me with completely open arms when I was a nervous freshman, and they have contributed so much to the reasons that I love this school,” the fourth-year religious studies and political science student said.

The current eight women perform covers of songs such as “Dog Days are Over” and put feminine twists on tunes with original male artists including “Sunday Morning” and “Break Your Heart.” The arrangements are often created by the members, but a portion of them are constructed by their music director, Liz Olson.

To promote their arrangements to the world, The Cocktails released a CD last spring titled "On The Rocks" which features popular hits including “Rather Be” and “A Little Party Never Killed Nobody.” While this may seem impressive, the ladies are not new to the recording scene. Their first album, "Another Round," was released in 2011, and they released a single, "I Need Your Love," in 2014. All of their music can be found on iTunes and Spotify.

“We strive to be the best that we can be and pride ourselves on our accomplishments,” Crisco said.

These fiery females have graced the stage at countless locations including charity events, community events and wedding receptions — even a marriage proposal. The group had the opportunity to also perform alongside The Acoustikats from the University of Kentucky who competed on NBC’s a cappella version of American Idol, "The Sing-Off," in 2013.

The Cocktails also enjoy collaborating with collegiate a cappella groups from other universities. For example, they have traveled to University of North Carolina to guest star in one of their concerts, and have welcomed other schools' groups to open for their winter and spring concerts, including Clemson, University of Michigan and University of Virginia. Keep an eye out for collaboration concerts with the university’s other a cappella groups to debut new songs and promote a cappella.

The group’s goal is to compete in the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella one year and record the next. They won first place in the 2011 ICCA Quarterfinals and third place at the 2010 ICCA Quarterfinals. In 2011, they also received the Best Choreography Award for their take on Rihanna’s “Russian Roulette.”

“It's also really important to me for us to continue working really hard to be a really fierce all-female group with a sound that can really compete with all different kinds of groups," Crisco said. 

The auditions are often held in Gambrell Hall and consist of a range check and a pop audition solo. If aspiring Cocktails are called back on a different night, they will do a blending exercise, sight reading and perform the chorus and verse of a different song.

“The girls in this group are some of my closest friends," Crisco said, "and it is an absolute blast being able to be in a group where we all share such a passion.”


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