A Capella Lovin’
by Kat Feary on Friday, May 18th, 2012The highlights of many morning assemblies, Milton’s four a cappella groups, Epic, Miltones, Octet, and 3FU, provide a break from monotonous announcements. Throughout the year, senior leaders coordinate practices and performances for each group: Liz Stanfield and Meghan Kelleher are the current heads of Epic, James McHugh leads the Miltones, Alice Yu and Brittany Owens head Octet while Katie Chow and Scott Kim lead 3FU. All of the a cappella heads have done an outstanding job managing and organizing the groups, along with other senior singers. Sydney Adedamola (III) from 3FU says, “The song choices have been amazing this year. Each group had a standout soloist or two, plus awesome background that made the whole piece sound great.” The seniors in each group have maintained a constant presence throughout the year, and many wonder what their departures mean for the future of the groups. Menaka Sachdev (II) from Epic says, “The loss is hard every year. As a junior, though, I’m so excited to take the reins and hopefully do as great a job as this year’s seniors did.” Past performances from the groups have been among the high points of the year, while several students mention that watching an a cappella performance at assembly makes their morning.
All of the groups make getting up on stage appear effortless. Performers rarely seem too nervous and never fail to deliver. Claire Russell (III) of Epic comments, “Feelings range so much depending on how we think we did. The best performances are the ones where we aren’t thinking about what we are doing, so we don’t get nervous and can just have fun with it.”
As effortless as the singers may look on stage, each performance requires countless hours of practice before it is stage-ready. Sage Warner (II), from 3FU, talks about the group’s weekly routine, saying, “Each Tuesday night, we play the chosen song through the speakers and listen for our parts. Once everyone has a part, we do what’s called a ‘train-wreck’ in which we lower the volume of the song playing on the iPod and have the soloist sing the song as we sing our parts in the background.”. Each group has its own method but consistent practice is always fundamental.
Most of the groups choose soloists by brainstorming their favorite songs and which member would work best as the soloist. The song can’t be unmangeable to perform, but still has to be entertaining. Alexa Katz (II) notes, “Singers usually choose solos on their own. We have never had a song ruled out for being ‘too difficult’ or ‘not right’ for an a cappella performance, which I really appreciate.”
Upcoming performances include many senior solos, which all of the groups are excited for. The returning members can’t wait to honor their seniors one more time. Try outs for all of the four groups are next week, with callbacks the week after. Each group encourages possible new members to come and see how much fun a cappella can be.
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