Acatonics pick up new knowledge


Photo courtesy Joy Nadda

A capella poses for a picture with the Nor’easters

Before the hectic event that is a pep rally takes place, you often hear the beautiful, harmonizing voices of a capella singing their hearts out while performing the Star-Spangled banner. Though it is a great performance, a capella does much more throughout the year than just sing the National Anthem.

On the early morning of Nov. 11, 28 members of a capella, accompanied by their director and music teacher, Keith Schwartz, boarded a bus ready for their eight-hour ride to Boston. Once they arrived, they participated in two workshops presented by successful acapella groups, one taught by the Nor’Easters from Northeastern University and the other by the Opportunes from Harvard University. “The general purpose of the trip was to get some insight and tips on what makes a winning a capella group,” sophomore Joy Nadda said.

The workshops consisted of long days with busy schedules, spent improving their voices and strengthening bonds between the team. Usually, the a capella members sang songs and then received feedback on how to improve their technique from the group hosting the workshop on that day. However, members were also given the opportunity to choose what they wanted to focus on perfecting. They could pick from song arrangements, vocal percussion, spicing up a solo performance or a tour of the campus, which would allow for a break from the singing. Plenty of great advice was given throughout the weekend, some of the best being to have “confidence; we know our stuff but it’s nice to have people see it and hear it and say that it’s good,” Schwartz said.

Not only was the trip beneficial competition wise, but team wise as well. Apart from the learning aspect of the weekend, students had time to relax in their shared hotel rooms as well as strengthen their sense of family and community within the group. “Whether it was making funny raps on the bus rides or getting to hang out with each other after the workshops, it was a great time to bond with each other,” senior Clarissa Miranda said.

The timing of the trip could not have been more perfect as a capella prepares for their competition season this coming February. The knowledge and insight given to the singers by these talented groups can be put to use for the future. “It was amazing, I think it was really cool to see these college groups who we have looked up to for a very long time and done a lot of their arrangements, so to see them and get to meet them in person was so valuable for us,” Schwartz said.