The Acatonics, a combination of the Acabellas and Supertonics, participated in the SingStrong New York High School Competition at Adelphi University in New Garden City, New York and won first place. They competed against other a capella groups from across the country on Feb. 8.
To prepare for their performance, the Acatonics practice during eighth period throughout the school year to work on the music and choreography. They also worked with college groups at New York University and Pace University on Feb. 7 to finalize their performance and learn tips for a capella performances.
They performed arrangements of “Freak” by Little Mix and “When the Party’s Over” by Billie Eilish. The group felt that this was their best performance ever and that all of their previous hard work prepared them to perform at their best. “I honestly think it’s the best performance this group has ever done. We’ve never been that emotionally and musically invested in a capella as we are now and it definitely paid off because we won first place,” junior Rishika Jadhav said.
The Acatonics rarely do competitions, as they mostly perform for the school. In one year, they usually have one competition that only Maryland groups attend. The SingStrong Competition was added to challenge them at a national level. Traveling to New York for a competition was beneficial. “This was different from our other performances because, first, it was in New York and second, the whole weekend we were completely immersed in a capella and music with all of our workshops and practices, which really impacted our mindset and the intensity of our performance,” Jadhav said.
Winning first place was inspiring and rewarding for the Acatonics. It helped boost their confidence and will lead them to challenge themselves more and set higher goals for themselves so they can accomplish more. “It was super exciting to win first place and I think that they earned it and deserved it. I think for the future, winning sets the bar high for this group moving forward and proves that with hard work you can achieve anything,” music teacher Keith Schwartz said.
The competition was a bonding experience for the group and brought the members closer than ever. This was fun for them and helped improve their cohesion when performing. “I enjoyed traveling with my group mates and going to all the singing workshops with them. Eighth period is usually the only time I get to see them, so it was nice to spend an entire weekend hanging out and doing what we love,” senior Osagie Aimiuwu said.