The Shwiffs sing national anthem at Fenway Park

Members of The Shwiffs pose with Wally, the Boston Red Sox mascot, after singing the national anthem at the April 19 game.
Members of The Shwiffs pose with Wally, the Boston Red Sox mascot, after singing the national anthem at the April 19 game.

America’s oldest ballpark, meet Connecticut College’s oldest a cappella singing group.

The Shwiffs, an all-female group, took to the field at Fenway Park April 19 to belt out the familiar lyrics of “The Star-Spangled Banner” before the Boston Red Sox took on the Baltimore Orioles. The group, decked out in Red Sox shirts, must have brought the team luck: The Sox won 4-2.

“It was an incredible experience,” said Shwiffs member Hannah Chmura ’15.

The group’s performance coincided with events marking the one-year anniversary of the bombings at the Boston Marathon. After that tragedy, Boston sports teams were integral to the city’s recovery, so the eyes of the nation — and the world — were on the Red Sox and the patriotic performance of The Shwiffs.

"It truly was a special day for The Shwiffs in the midst of an important weekend for Boston,” said Caroline Noonan '16. “We owe a big thank you to the Red Sox for the opportunity."

The students were invited to perform after the Red Sox’s entertainment manager heard a recording of their rendition of the national anthem. Noonan, who serves as the group’s public relations coordinator, sent the tape to the manager after a family friend put them in touch. 

Established as the College’s first a cappella group in 1944, The Shwiffs have been singing strong for decades. Throughout the year, they perform at numerous events on and off campus. Recently, the group sang at a downtown event as part of the festivities for the College’s new president. During the fall semester, The Shwiffs participated in an all-group, all-Lorde concert, covering the New Zealand singing sensation’s latest chart-topper, “Team.”   

The Shwiffs are one of seven a cappella groups on campus, and a cappella is just one of many co-curricular activities available to students. 

Other examples of student-run clubs, organizations and performance groups include (not a full list):

Academic and language

  • French Club
  • German Club
  • Italian Club
  • Psi Chi National Honor Society
  • Russian Club

Culture and identity

  • African Student Union
  • MEChA Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán
  • Spectrum (dedicated to ending homophobia)
  • Yalla Bina (celebrates Middle Eastern region and cultures)


  • Cadenza art and literary magazine
  • The College Voice student newspaper
  • Film Society
  • Underexposed photography magazine
  • WCNI-FM radio station

Performing arts

  • A cappella groups (7)
  • Ballroom Dance Club
  • Camel Backs stepping club
  • Dance Club
  • MOBROC (Musicians Organized for Band Rights on Campus)
  • N2O improv comedy group
  • Wig and Candle theater organization


  • Connecticut College Democrats
  • Connecticut College Left
  • Connecticut College Republicans

Religious and spiritual

  • Conn Catholics
  • Hillel
  • Conn Christian Fellowship

Special interest

  • Coffee Grounds coffee shop
  • Connecticut College EMS
  • Feminist Majority
  • Gaming Club
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Human Rights Now
  • Peggotty Investment Club
  • Pre-Health Club
  • SOAR (Students Organized Against Racism)

Student governance

  • Honor Council
  • Student Government Association
  • Student Activities Council


  • Forest Justice
  • Renewable Energy Club
  • Spokespeople bicycle collective
  • Sprout! organic garden club



April 21, 2014