By: Katie Miraglia '22
After many months of preparation, we are finally approaching the weekend of Cappella Night and ICHSA. Or, what I so lovingly call “A Cappella Weekend.” After years of distancing, trial and error, and many zoom calls, these exciting performances are coming back to life. With this, I thought it fitting to revive our blog as well!
COVID has hit the arts fairly hard. Activities that we all enjoyed, that pushed us to improve ourselves and provided a safe space were being shut down. The friends we enjoyed spending our afternoons with, were now only to be seen on Zoom. The rooms that brought us a sense of comfort, closed. For many of us, there was an initial struggle. It felt like we were being tested and -quite frankly- it seemed impossible to keep going forward for a while. We were no longer on solid ground. Singing had always been an escape, but it felt like it was being ripped away from us. The hour a day we used to dedicate to our singing was being morphed into something entirely new. While we were remote it all felt so artificial. When we came back, there were initially regulations of how we could sing. It felt isolating.
As time went on, and regulations changed, we eventually fell into the schedule we have today. One that feels more normal, more connected and engaged. We can finally hear each other and see each other. And now, our favorite yearly performances are starting to make their way back. I speak for many when I say, we could not be happier.
As I was writing in my calendar, circling and highlighting our quickly approaching performances, I couldn't help but wonder what my younger peers were feeling. I've known Milo (sophomore) for almost a year-and-a-half now, and I can confidently say that they have a passion for music but I rarely get to see. They have reminded many upperclassmen why we love our ensembles so much. When I was thinking of who to talk to, they immediately came to mind. And when I reached out, he was very willing to answer some of my questions:
KM: How would you describe your experience and Falconize so far? How has this year been compared to years prior?
MC: “So far in Falconize my experience has been pretty abnormal compared to some members' experiences prior to me. This year however has felt much more normal as we are able to sing and perform together. This year I feel that we have also been able to emotionally bond with each other on a much deeper level.”
KM: What were your thoughts on Fall Jam? How are you anticipating the A Capella Night will be different from what Fall Jam looked like?
MC: “Fall Jam being our first performance of the year definitely made us all aware of how the rush of a performance felt but with A Cappella Night being a much bigger or grand performance I think it will definitely have its own feeling of intensity.”
KM: What are your thoughts on competition? What are you most looking forward to?
MC: “Competition seemed to be so far away for the longest while until it seemed to strike me that we were less than two weeks away… I look forward to being able to share the result of our process and all of our hard work!”
KM: How are you feeling about the weekend of A Capella Night and competition? What are your biggest worries, and what are you most excited about?
MC: “Although I’m excited to be able to use A Cappella night as a prep for how it will feel to do our set, I am worried about how a back to back performance will affect us during competition. However, regardless, it will be very beneficial for us as we get into more of the headspace of the songs.”
KM: Lastly, how have you been taking care of yourself the past few weeks? How are you going to continue keeping yourself healthy and safe for the (intense) weekend?
MC: “I have been doing my best to continue to practice my best during rehearsals and to not push myself too much outside of practice. I have been trying to do my best to stay healthy and well and to take the appropriate actions if I am feeling unwell.”
With the return of our bigger performances, it's important to acknowledge the turbulent two years behind us. But within our ensembles, there is a sense of forward thinking. We are learning to accept that our future will not look exactly like our past.
Our goal as a group for the next week is to remain focused on our work, while also enjoying the presence of the people around us. Appreciating the sound of blending voices on a stage, and being forgiving with ourselves and others for the evolution caused by unfortunate times. I'm so thankful for Falconize. I'm thankful for the program we have become, the incredible friendships we've created, and the set that we have built. I cannot wait to see what we do next this upcoming A Cappella Weekend.
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.