Sing! A cappella returns to the spotlight with a joint concert with collegiate groups


A cappella is holding a concert on April 9th at 7:30 p.m. With collegiate a cappella groups from Harvard, Berkeley and Tufts, the Muses, Madrigals and T-Tones are excited to perform once again. “A cappella is a team event, and although individual skill is really important, it is much more valuable to have a really good blend and a sense of balance,” Madrigals beatboxer Keita Williams said. “I’m excited to see all the groups perform and their effort pay off.”

A cappella has had a difficult couple years because of the pandemic, but a joint concert with Wayland High School’s a cappella and collegiate a cappella groups from Harvard, Berkeley and Tufts on April 9 at 7:30 p.m in the Wayland High School Auditorium reignites hope for a better year.

“I’m really looking forward to performing normally again,” T-Tones director Ben Chen said. “Obviously with COVID-19, the past couple of years have kind of canceled a cappella all together, but now we’re back in the swing of things and it’s awesome.”

Preparation has been difficult for the a cappella groups because of scheduling and sports, but each group found its own way of bypassing this struggle. For the Muses, the directors sent out arrangements for solo practice whenever the members would find the time.

“Practice and preparations went smoothly and were well-organized,” Muses singer and beatboxer Lexi Harris said. “Our directors would send out the arrangement for us to learn and we would all work on our parts individually, then we would come to rehearsal and sing through the song multiple times in order to get the rhythm, pacing and intonation correct. Because our practices were limited this year, we put in full effort at each and every rehearsal.”

Ever since the Winter Week concert, the Madrigals, too, have been preparing in unique ways to bypass the pandemic restrictions.

“After our previous concert in February, our group has been working on new songs while keeping the old ones in good shape,” Madrigals beatboxer Keita Williams said. “We couldn’t do home rehearsals during COVID-19, so instead we had to do morning and evening rehearsals multiple times a week especially since it’s getting close to concert season.”

Even with all these practices and rehearsals, the a cappella groups are all still excited to hear and learn from the collegiate groups.

“I think it’ll be a completely new experience,” Williams said. “They obviously have had a lot more practice and time with a cappella, so I hope it lets me grow as a singer and beatboxer.”

Harris is also excited to learn and see how the collegiate groups take advantage of their experience.

“Honestly, it’s a little nerve-wracking and intimidating because they are more vocally mature and experienced, but I’m excited to hear the complex arrangements and diverse sounds of the groups,” Harris said.

Harris found experiencing new things to be beneficial and fulfilling in the end.

“The best experience in a cappella for me was learning how to beatbox,” Harris said. “I watched a couple of tutorials on Youtube and was completely captivated by it. Although I am not a good beatboxer by any means, I can hold down the rhythm for an entire song which I am proud of.”

Although performing and putting together arrangements play a big part in making a cappella fun, there’s more than meets the eye. The people met and community made along the way are what make a cappella truly enjoyable.

“I think my best memory of high school a cappella has just been the relationships that have come from it,” Chen said. “I’ve been in a cappella since I was a freshman and every year it seems like there’s a revolving door with people coming in and graduating, but the friendships I’ve gotten from a cappella have always been pretty strong, and it’s great to meet new people.”

In the end, it’s about getting out there, trying new things and just having fun.

“I know this sounds corny, but you really do only have one high school experience,” Chen said. “If you want to join a cappella but are shy of performing, just go for it. It’s a great time and you learn to love the spotlight.”