Lizzie Hanson ‘23, Freelance Writer
Groups such as Pentatonix, Boyz II Men, Home Free, and Take 6 are all amazing A cappella groups that some might have heard or listened to; however, this group of SLHS students, The Unaccompanied, might be even better. Naw, that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but listen for yourself and you will see what everyone is raving about.
For those who do not know, an A cappella group is a group of people singing, but with a twist. The twist is that they do not use any background tracks or instruments when performing. Instead, they only use their voices to harmonize as one. “A capella is really fun because when you sing, you get to find your groove. It’s also really cool because you make music using only your voice and nothing else,” member Anessa Hanson said.
The Unaccompanied Minors consist of boys and girls from grades ninth to twelfth. Anyone can be in it; you do not have to even be in choir, but students did have to go through an audition process back in about the middle of September to join. For the audition, singers had to perform a song of their choice for the choir director, Mr. Andrew Hathikhanivala. The people who made the audition got to be in the A capella group.
“The A Cappella Choir gives students a chance to learn techniques and sing musical styles that may not be traditionally taught in their choir class. We focus on vocal independence, listening skills, showmanship, and how to interpret more modern pop songs and adapt them to an a cappella setting to emphasize our strengths and what challenges us to grow as musicians. Singing together outside of the school day allows students from all the different curricular choirs (as well as those who may not be enrolled in one of our school choirs) to work together and enjoy the process of putting together several school and community performances. These singers clearly enjoy singing, learning, and growing together. They are by far the most energetic and enthusiastic A Cappella Choir I have taught in recent memory! I started the A Cappella Choir six years ago after our Vocal Jazz Choir came to an end and students showed a strong interest in starting a new group that focused almost exclusively on current pop songs. The song selection, rehearsals, and performances are largely student-driven, but I am there to teach, guide and hopefully inspire our students’ exploration of their own musical gifts and artistic potential!” Choir director Mr. Hathikhanivala said.
The group practices every Monday and Wednesday after school from 2:30 to 3:30 in the choir room. During these practices, students come in and rehearse different pieces assigned by Mr. Hathikhanivala. Eventually, some of these songs will be performed, and their hard work will pay off in their concerts because they get to show off what they have worked very hard on. If you have not already, check out this fabulous ensemble of students and the winter choir concert in December.
Photo by Lizzie Hanson