The Amalgamates are a coed collegiate a cappella group at Tufts University in Medford, MA. The Amalgamates were founded in 1984 by Tufts students Joanne Cohen, Craig Everett, and David Wiley. “Amalgamate” means “combine or unite to form one organization or structure”; thus, founding members chose the name Amalgamates to indicate the formation of the first coed a cappella group at Tufts. With the aid of Marti Fernandi and Fiona Wright-Hall, members of the two other existing groups, the Beelzebubs and Jackson Jills respectively, the fledgling group held auditions in November of that year, and from the thirty people who auditioned, chose ten more members. The Mates first official college performance was at the University of Vermont, followed soon thereafter by their first home concert at Goddard Chapel with the Bubs and the Jills on April 4, 1985. Other performances in the spring of 1985 were at the University of New Hampshire, Wellesley College, and on campus at the dedication of the newly built Mayer Campus Center.
The Mates became an a cappella household name with their rendition of Michael Jackson’s ‘Man in the Mirror’, with soloist Amy Birnbaum, on theìr 1996 album ‘Hat Sale! Get Mama!’. The song went on to win the 1997 CARA Award for Best Coed Collegiate Song and runner-up for Best Coed Collegiate Soloist.
The group has firmly established traditions that include the homecoming show in the Chapel, a weekend retreat, biannual studio album releases, and a number of social events that have become an intrinsic part of the Amalgamates experience. In 2009, in honor of the milestone 25th Anniversary, over one hundred Mates alumni reunited for Homecoming weekend, October 9-October 11, for a gala event. A committee of alumni worked in conjunction with the Tufts Alumni association for over a year to organize an evening that included remarks by Mates from across the years, a slideshow, and casual performances by the groups from each year. Mates alumnus John Clark, a recording engineer, enlisted alumni and current group members to create a tribute album of rerecorded or never-before recorded songs, even going so far as to use the original soloists.
The live album ‘Unexpected Guests’ (2004) featured a cover version of Running Up That Hill.