By Guest Blogger: Gabby Sherrick '20
Hello! I’m Gabby Sherrick and i’m so happy to be the guest blogger for today! For my part I wanted to talk about what it’s like to be a member of one of the a cappella groups and the process of how we prepare our music! Being able to watch the groups perform ever since I was in 7th grade was really what sparked my love for a cappella. I learned to love both the music that both Ingrid Sound and Falconize created, and wanted to be a part of those groups one day.
I got the ability to audition and be a part of Ingrid Sound for the first time (and sadly the last since I'm graduating this year). I was very excited when the audition results list came out and I saw my name as a part of the list. Joining an a cappella group can be very scary! I was pretty worried at first since a lot of my friends had been a part of the group for at least two years. It was scary being a senior joining for the first time, yet I have never met more welcoming people. Ingrid had new members from all different grades and no one judged what grade, or for how many years a person had been in the a cappella group.
The two groups practicing times vary. Falconize is a course, so it meets for 55 minutes in the rotation and doesn’t meet on the days they drop. Ingrid has rehearsal 7pm-9pm on Tuesday nights. When it comes to competition time each group practices changes to help prepare more for competitions. Rehearsals are a lot of fun! For Ingrid Sound a lot of us come early to hang out in the chorus corner and play a game or catch up before rehearsal starts. Megan, the Pitchpipe of the group, then gets up and walks to the center of the room and starts playing the first note for warmups. The warmups that we do vary. They help us prepare vocally for rehearsal dynamically, help with articulation and overall blend. One of my favorite warm ups is called “bumble-bee tuna.” Each person gets a turn to try vocal percussion without any judgement. As someone who has always been interested in trying, this warmup has helped me improve greatly in keeping a beat, and creating a loud and realistic percussive sound.
After warm ups we gather in a circle and start to work on the music. Whether it be for fall jam, a cappella night, or competition. When starting to learn the song we will all listen to the arrangement to get a feel for the song. Then, vocal parts are assigned that way it’s balanced and there aren’t too many people on one part. Mr. Grover takes the time to go through each part and play it out on the piano. Then we try singing the parts together with the people on our parts, then try singing it with the whole group. We then hold solo auditions where the people who wouldn’t audition would watch and then vote on the person they wanted to have the solo. This keeps it fair and shows that the group in general just wants what’s best. Being in this group no one is put down and every audition is always cheered for after they finish. Every single member of the group encourages others, whether it was their first time audition or their hundredth. After learning all the notes to the song for each part and having a soloist we work as a group on bringing the song to life. Different dynamics and places where articulation matters most to give it a powerful effect.
I have a whole new appreciation for the a cappella groups at DHS now that I am a part of one. Knowing the work put in for every rehearsal and how kind the group is to one another makes me fall in love with the groups even more. I feel honored to be able to be in one of these groups and I’m so excited to see where they will go in the future and what music they will create together.
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Katie Miraglia, class of 2022, is a member of Falconize and Deception at DHS and can be frequently seen in the school's theater productions. She is also Drum Major of the Marching Band and plays bass clarinet. She took over the Danvers High Chorus Blog for the 2021-22 school year.