Evan Porco/Sagamore Staff
A line of students stands centerstage, with light shining solely on them. Dressed in jeans and black shirts, the students begin to sing a cover of “Roses” by The Chainsmokers, filling the room with a symphony of a capella.
On Mar. 16th and 17th, 2018, the annual Acapellafest took place in Dance Studio One. Rather than featuring a single act, the gathering showcased five student-led performance groups at the high school: Perfect Pitch, the Testostatones, Needs Improvment, Note-A-Fy and the A capella Choir.
The show started with Perfect Pitch, an all-girls a capella group, taking center-stage. They sung four songs, starting off with “Roses” by The Chainsmokers, followed by “Turning Tables” by Adele, “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley and “Electric Love” by BØRNS. Their rendition of “Roses” by The Chainsmokers was a well executed take on an EDM classic, with a perfect blend of high and low melodies and a noteworthy solo by Sophomore Iris Yang.
Soon after, the all-boys a capella group, the Testostatones, took the stage wearing sports jerseys. The first song they performed was “Someone to Love” by Fountains of Wayne, which featured solos by seniors Mitchell Schroeder and Noah Sesling. Sesling demonstrated his deep, powerful voice, with varying pitches that resonated throughout the room. Eventually, the song came to a halt, with Sesling putting on a wig and Schroeder comedically pretending to ask him out. After, the group performed “Change is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke and “Do You Wanna Do Nothing with Me?” by Lawrence.
Once the Testostatones left the stage, the improv group Needs Improvment performed, first playing a game called “God.” God, played by senior Emily Gerson, was able to change the focus of the scene at any time. The performance began with a audience member suggesting that the scene be based on Neosporin, which eventually led to a hilarious, erratic commentary of the ‘World Puzzle Championships’ from senior Jacob Cohen. After, the group played another improv game titled “Things You Never Hear At…” which asked audience members to suggest phrases one would never hear at a certain location. Examples included a therapist’s office, a bakery and Toys-R-Us, which all generated witty and funny responses from the students.
The penultimate act of the night was another all-girls a capella group, Note-A-Fy, which entered the stage in green clothing for Saint Patrick’s Day. Their performance was underscored by their final song: a take on “my boy” by Billie Eilish, which began with a slow, melodic tune. Suddenly, one member counted to three, and the song unexpectedly switched to upbeat pop, accompanied by beatboxing. Overall, the performance was a catchy, creative song choice by the students, and incredible to listen to. The group also performed the songs “Bravado” by Lorde and “Elusive” by Scott Matthews.
Finally, the larger A capella Choir went on the stage’s bleachers. The choir’s second song, “Run To You” by Mitchell Grassi featured beautiful, holy-sounding bursts in the performance. At certain points, both higher and lower pitches blended perfectly, which created a delightful ambience in the room. The group also performed “Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles and “I Can See Clearly” by Johnny Nash.
Overall, Acapellafest showcased incredible talent and creativity that made observers amused, amazed and wholly satisfied. By celebrating student-lead groups and their talents, this was an incredible event well worth the time.
An earlier version of this article incorrectly named a Needs Improvment member as senior Jacob Zachary-Flanders. The article has been corrected to say that the performer was senior Jacob Cohen.