I say it every time, but it’s funny how fast this year went by. It feels like the Fall Jam just happened yesterday, and now the Spring Sing has just passed. It’s amazing to see how much Ingrid Sound, Falconize, and Deception have grown over the year. With new members, new songs, and new goals, the A Cappella groups never fail to impress.
Deception opened the concert with their rendition of “You Make Me Feel So Young”, sung by Frank Sinatra. I was totally excited to hear this song because I LOVE Frank Sinatra (I’m obsessed with 1950s music because of the show The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, which is amazing and I recommend that everyone watch it- but that’s besides the point). This piece was arranged by Mike Mahoney, who did a great job with A Cappella-izing the song without losing touch with it’s swing roots.
Next, Falconize came on stage and opened with their original group-written song, called Chasing Tides. I knew that Falconize was playing around with student-written songs, and I was interested to know how the process was going. I didn’t know what to expect. But, when they came on stage and began to sing, I was shocked. This song was so powerful and so meaningful that I started crying a little bit at the end. No joke. It was that good. Kali Sheppard had the featured solo, but it was clear that the whole group was just as invested when performing the song. I think that because all of the members played a part in writing the song, it was more meaningful to them. Falconize will be singing Chasing Tides at Festival Disney, a music festival for middle school through high school at Walt Disney World, on Friday, May 3rd! Along with Chasing Tides, Falconize sang Anna Sun, which they sang and won with at N.E. Voices earlier this year. They also sang their beautiful rendition of “Imagine”, by John Lennon. For this song, they put their microphones away, and gathered in a group at the front of the stage. After that, they sang “Take On Me” by A-ha, which is a favorite of all Falconize fans.
After Falconize left the stage, Ingrid Sound came on, and opened with “Suburbia”, by Troye Sivan, and “Alaska”, by Maggie Rogers, both songs being part of their ICHSA competition set. Then, they sang “See You Again”, originally by Charlie Puth. This song was a new addition to Ingrid’s repertoire, unlike “Girl Put Your Records On”, their next song, which they sang earlier this year at the Fall Jam. The majority of Ingrid Sound’s songs were arranged by senior Ivy O’Connell.
Falconize entered the stage again, this time with another original song, “Masterpiece”, written by senior Hannah Kelsey. They’ll be performing “Masterpiece” at Festival Disney as well. Next, they sang “Innocent”, originally by Taylor Swift. They also sang this song as part of their set at N.E. Voices. Their last two songs were “Everybody Wants To Rule The World”, by Tears for Fears, which they added to their set this year, and “You Give Love A Bad Name”, by Bon Jovi, which has been a repeating part of Falconize’s repertoire.
After Falconize exited for the second time, Ingrid Sound came back on. They started back up with a new addition to their set, “Half the Man” by Rozzi Crane. I had never heard this song before, but loved hearing Ingrid Sing it. They created such a strong, powerful sound that really wowed the audience. This song sounded amazing with the balance of their other songs, which were more dulcet and mellow. Next, Ingrid Sound sang “Castle On A Hill”, originally by Ed Sheeran, and “Wings”, originally by Little Mix, which they sang when they competed at ICHSA.
I always enjoy hearing the A Cappella groups sing, and I can’t wait to see how they grow and change throughout the next year!
In January, I had the opportunity to go to the NE Voices Festival to watch Falconize perform. It took a little bit of bartering with my mother, who had wanted me to stay home and babysit my younger sister, but in the end it was so worth it. I had no idea what to expect. I had never been to an A Cappella competition before this one, so it was a totally new experience for me.
After school on Friday, the members of Falconize, Ingrid Sound, and I took a bus to Chelmsford High School. When we first arrived at the school, we were lead into a private room to hang out and prepare for the actual competition. While Falconize went into the auditorium for their soundcheck, the rest of us played an extremely intense game of Twister. Later, we all headed down to the cafeteria, where we ate pizza for dinner.
This was all fun, but the real excitement didn’t start until around 6:45, when we went down to the auditorium and waited for the competition to begin. The auditorium was filled with people. I love watching performances, so I couldn’t wait for it to start.
The moment the first group started singing, I had chills. You could tell how much effort each group had put into every aspect of their set, from the songs to the choreography. The energy in the auditorium was amazing. Everyone (or at least I) was enjoying the music, cheering and clapping like crazy after each group performed. I couldn’t hold myself back from dancing in my seat.
Falconize was the second to last group to perform. Even though they performed so late at night, they brought an amazing energy to the stage and totally nailed the performance with their songs Anna Sun, featuring a solo by Jared Casey, Innocent, featuring Kali Sheppard, and Carry On, featuring Em Baracewiz.
While we waited for the judges to pick the three winning groups, a professional group called BLACKLIGHT entertained the audience with a mix of arrangements of popular songs, and a few original songs. Everyone from the audience came down to stand right in front of the stage, and while we were all dancing and enjoying the music, I heard so many people from competing A Cappella groups complimenting others’ performances, voices, outfits, and energy. Even though they were competing against each other, they still made a point to lift each other up.
It was also interesting to see what each group did differently. I’ve really only watched local A Cappella groups, like the ones from our school, and the ones who make a special appearance during A Cappella Night, so I’m not that experienced in the world of A Cappella. But this performance literally made my jaw drop. There was literally not a single moment of this experience where I was bored. I was so amazed by how everything came together, and how smoothly each group’s performance went. If any of the performers were nervous, you couldn’t tell. Everyone acted so professionally, and it was really amazing to watch.
So, if you ever get the chance to watch any type of A Cappella performance, you just have to take it. I swear that you won’t be disappointed!
Congratulations to Falconize on their amazing (but not surprising) win at NE Voices! Also, congratulations to The Thursdays, from Chelmsford High School, and Northern Lights, from Plymouth North High School for being the other two winning groups!
By: Juliet Giangregorio '20
I can’t even begin to count the amount of times I hear “I’m so excited for A Cappella Night!” a year. I think that it’s definitely most students’ favorite part of the year, including mine. If you don’t know what A Cappella Night is, I’ll explain. Every January, the Mixed Chorus, Danvers High School A Cappella groups, and guest groups, like the Northshoremen- a barbershop chorus from Beverly, perform their own A Cappella versions of songs at a huge concert - A Cappella Night.
For me, the most stressful part of chorus is choosing the songs for A Cappella Night. Some time at the beginning of the year (this year, it was the end of September) every student enrolled in a chorus class has the opportunity to suggest a song they want to sing at A Cappella Night. We listen to a minute of each song, and then we individually vote on three of our favorites. Next, when each class has a top three chosen by the vote of the majority, we vote again on two songs, which end up becoming our A Cappella Night songs. Think of it like The Great British Baking Show, or Survivor. Obviously, it isn’t as intense - unless your song makes it to the top three choices for your class. Then, you have to cross your fingers and hope it makes it through the final round, when all the top three songs from each class are put together, and two songs are voted on for the final selection. If your song doesn’t make it to the top, then it isn’t the end of the world. And if you despise the two songs that are chosen, trust me when I say they’ll grow on you.
This year, the two songs that made it through all three rounds were…
Green Light by Lorde, and I Want It That Way by Backstreet Boys!
After we finally decide on our A Cappella Night songs, we move on to the bittersweet selection of our graduation song. Every year when the seniors graduate, the entire chorus sings an arrangement of a song to send them on their way. This process is the same as A Cappella Night, except only the seniors get to vote during the final round of songs. During the selection process, we choose songs that have a theme of coming of age, moving on, and following a new path. This year, after a close competition, the graduation song for the 2019 class is…
Walking in the Wind, by One Direction!
You can catch the DHS Mixed Chorus singing these songs at A Cappella Night on January 19th, and graduation on June 8th.
By: Juliet Giangregorio Courtesy of The Flying Onion
Our a cappella groups kicked off their 2018-2019 year with a fantastic performance last Thursday night at the annual Fall Jam. Deception, Falconize and Ingrid Sound, along with special guest group Hawks-in-Harmony from Holten Richmond Middle School, amazed the audience with their student-arranged selections of contemporary pop songs.
The night began with a performance by Deception, DHS’s six person a capella group, who sang their own arrangement of the song “Impossible”. This song featured solos performed by Kali Sheppard and Megan Moriarty. “Impossible” can be found in their album Structure, which can be purchased on iTunes. After their impressive performance, Hawks and Harmony blew the audience away with their rendition of “Set Fire to the Rain” by Adele.
Next up was Falconize, who took center stage singing their versions of “Take On Me,” originally by A-Ha, with soloist Em Baracewicz, “Human,” by The Killers, with a solo by Kali Sheppard, and “Halo”, by Beyoncé, with soloist Kailee Rees.
Falconize, the co-ed a cappella group, was invited to perform at the inaugural International A Cappella Festival in Pamplona, Spain this coming up April. They are almost halfway to reaching their goal of raising $35,000, which will enable them to make this trip. The a cappella groups have been invited to travel a lot recently, including Ingrid Sound’s trip to Memphis, Tennessee for the National A Cappella Convention two years ago.
Ingrid Sound, so named after singer songwriter Ingrid Michaelson, took the stage next with their arrangement of “She’s So Gone” from the Disney Channel Original Movie Lemonade Mouth, with soloist Megan Moriarty. Next, they sang “Put Your Records on” by Corinne Bailey Rae, and “Castle,” by Halsey, which is a new addition to their set this year. Both of the songs featured solos by Lily Albiero, a first year member of Ingrid Sound.
Following that, Falconize returned to the stage with “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” by Tears for Fears, a new addition to their regular set. It featured a solo from Michael Mahoney, who is also the pitch pipe for Falconize, and is a second-year member of Deception. Falconize then sang “Boston,” by Augustana with soloist Hannah Kelsey, who is a member of Deception as well. Lastly, Em Baracewicz took the stage with another crowd-wowing solo in Falconize’s arrangement of “Carry On,” originally by Fun.
Then, Falconize left the stage and Ingrid Sound came back on, wrapping up the night with their versions of “Unconditionally,” by Katy Perry, featuring soloist Megan Moriarty, and “Castle on the Hill,” by Ed Sheeran, with soloist Allie Kasprzak.
If you missed the Fall Jam, don’t worry. There will be plenty of other opportunities to see Deception, Falconize, and Ingrid Sound perform this year, including A Cappella Night in January, and the Spring Sing this spring.
By: Juliet Giangregorio '20
As some of you may know and some of you may not know, our chorus has its very own executive committee (CEC). Each year, two members from each chorus class are elected by the students in their class, and specific members from the A Cappella groups, such as the presidents and music directors, are appointed by Mr. Grover. Congratulations to the new members of this year’s Chorus Executive Committee!
Last week, I had the pleasure of sitting in on the committee’s first meeting. And let me tell you, it was a lot different than I expected. When I walked into the chorus room, the first thing I noticed was a table set up with a chair for each member - professional, right? Each member also had two pieces of paper in front of them- one discussing the agenda for the night, and another relaying the rules of the committee.
The goal of the Chorus Executive Committee, from what I witnessed, was to make sure that the chorus stays interesting and united every year. Being in the chorus for three years, I’ve noticed that at times, there can be a lot of separation between the different choral groups and classes because we don’t spend much time all together. However, the committee represents every class, and gives everyone a say in what goes on. The CEC works on planning events to bring every student together. In reality, the only time that all the chorus classes are all together are the two hours before our concerts, A Cappella Night, and the Chorus Awards, which I was supposed to write about but completely forgot over the summer (sorry), but the committee has ideas to change that. In order to sing cohesively, a chorus has to be comfortable with one another. The CEC works to create opportunities for the chorus to be The Chorus, to bond with one another and get to know the people we don’t get to see in our chorus class every day.
The committee keeps the chorus interesting. It makes chorus a hobby, and not a burden. Since new members are elected each year, the chorus stays fresh and exciting. New members allow the chorus to grow and change as new students join and older students graduate. The Chorus Executive Committee changes as the students change. It shifts to fit the needs of the students. It keeps the students involved in the chorus. Since the chorus is for the students, it’s the students who help to make it run smoothly.
After every meeting, the CEC puts together a newsletter that is read in class the next day in order to keep every students informed about changes and events. I had never realized it before, but without the Chorus Executive Committee, chorus wouldn’t be as fun and exciting as it is now. So, thank you to the members of the Chorus Executive Committee. We’re looking forward to see what you have in store for us this year!
By: Juliet Giangregorio '20
Each year, the Danvers High School Select Vocal Ensembles (Chamber Singers and the A Cappella Groups) hold their auditions for new members. Scary, I know. From the outside, the auditions might seem very competitive and intimidating. But, as someone who has auditioned a couple of times, I can assure you that it is not as nerve-wracking as it seems. Actually, it’s quite exciting. The process is simple to audition for the a cappella groups: pick a contemporary pop song you like, and sing a verse and the chorus. Then, Mr. Grover tests your range, and your ability to sing a part of one of the group’s songs. Voilà. That’s it. Mr. Grover also asks some questions about your day at school, your favorite class, or even your hobbies to break the ice and make you feel more comfortable if you’re nervous. Personally, I get very nervous. I always think of the worst thing that could happen, instead of focusing on reality. But, some of my friends have some pretty funny stories about their auditioning experience.
Even if you’re like me, and get freaked out about auditions, I promise that you’ll be okay. It’s not the end of the world if you don’t get into a group, and every time you audition you gain more experience and confidence. I know that I’ve grown from the first time I’ve auditioned for anything to now. Plus, you’re supposed to do one thing that scares you everyday, right? Here are some auditioning tips:
Congrats to Emily DiStasio, Anissa Knight, Charlotte Larson, Gabby Sherrick, Victor Stiles, and Craig Zorzy for their acceptance into Chamber singers, John Ferriera, Anna Krisko, Amanda Larson, Sam Patterson and Jazmine Wallimann on their acceptance into Falconize, Lily Albiero, Cynthia Boyd, Caitlin Emery, Allison Kasprzak, Haley Murphy and Lilli Peluso on their acceptance into Ingrid Sound, and Ivy O’Connell on her acceptance into Deception! Everyone is so excited to meet the new members of the groups.
By Guest Blogger: Emma Quigley '18 from The Flying Onion
On Saturday, February 4th, Falconize swept the floor at the ICHSA (International Championship of High School A Cappella) quarterfinals. They secured first place with 389 points - 93 points ahead of the second place group. This wins Falconize a chance to move on to the ICHSA Northeast Semifinals at Worcester State University on March 11th, along with the other top groups from the quarterfinals in the Northeast.
Not to mention, all special awards, some of them being ties, were awarded to Falconize. Senior Siobhan Breen was awarded Outstanding Soloist for “All Too Well,” sophomore Jared Casey was awarded Outstanding Vocal Percussion for the entire set, junior Isabella Burrell was awarded Outstanding Arrangement for the entire set, and Falconize was also awarded Outstanding Choreography.
Out of the eight groups that performed, Falconize performed sixth. Many Falconize fans were impatiently waiting to see Falconize blow up the stage. In support of their student singers, Danvers fans came out in full force to cheer on the singers, confident that Falconize would place in the top three, and Falconize did not disappoint.
Isabella Burrell, Falconize’s pitch pipe, says she’s “extremely proud of how well” they “came together as a team and showed everyone what we’re made of!”
Falconize will work even harder for semifinals, because they will be competing against even better groups. There’s no doubt that they will do well, because Falconize can not be beat!
Guest Bloggers: Abby Lantych '17 and Kaitlyn Sullivan '17 from The Flying Onion
Recently, DHS’s Ingrid Sound won the N.E Voices Festival, moving them on to compete in the National A Cappella convention in Memphis, Tennessee. Ingrid Sound is an all-female a cappella group who take their name from singer, Ingrid Michaelson.
N.E. Voices Festival requires groups to submit videos in order to be chosen to participate at the festival. Many groups submitted videos, but only eight groups were chosen to compete.
The girls competed on Friday night, January 27th, against seven other groups in the Northeast.
On Friday night after their performance, it was announced that Ingrid Sound was one of the top three groups. These groups performed an encore performance the following night. After singing the high energy song “The Other Side” by Bruno Mars, one of the directors came out and surprised the group, announcing that Ingrid Sound would be representing N.E Voices in Memphis, Tennessee in April for the National A Cappella Convention.
Similar to N.E Voices, The National A Cappella Convention is a competition where groups submit videos, in hopes of being selected to perform. However, the convention is in Tennessee. This is the first time where N.E Voices has had the opportunity to send the winning group to compete in Tennessee. This is a very big accomplishment for Ingrid Sound because they are the only group in the Northeast competing.
Director Alex Grover proudly commented, “This year Ingrid Sound is committed and focused, and the group's enthusiasm for their music and performances is at such a high level. Every member's passion shined through at the N.E. Voices competition and the group truly earned the accomplishment of the top score.”
Ingrid Sound has also competed in the annual Salem Pitch Trials last May and Haunted Harmonies in October, placing first in both of those competitions as well.
For the next couple of months, Ingrid Sound will be focusing on fundraising for the trip and practicing their set. We wish Ingrid Sound all the best as they are preparing their trip to Memphis!
By: Jamie Boghosian '18
A Cappella Night 2017 was a hit! This year’s headlining act was the Hexachords, a six person a cappella group similar to our own, Deception. Before call times and soundchecks, all chorus students, including those in the a cappella groups, were invited to a workshop held at 4:00pm led by the Hexachords. During the workshop, our three a cappella groups got the chance to take the stage and perform their sets. In return, the Hexachords gave commentary and advice to make the sets even better.
Deception was the first to perform, followed by Falconize, then Ingrid Sound. Members of the Hexachords gave their input on what each group could do to improve. Most of the comments were about having confidence and really getting into the songs. I found the workshop to be very beneficial and helpful towards our performances later on that evening.
As a junior, this was my third year being a part of A Cappella Night. I’ve been in Mixed Chorus, I’ve watched Swingtown, the Northshoremen, and Falconize, and I’ve actually seen the Hexachords in concert before. I was very eager to see Deception, our newest group of the high school, open the show. This year was also the first year that Hawks-in-Harmony, Holten Richmond Middle School’s new group, was invited to make their A Cappella Night debut.
MCing the event was freshman Sam Patterson, member of the Mixed Chorus and the Chorus Executive Committee. He introduced every group with animation and enthusiasm despite how many times his microphone cut out on him. The first two groups he introduced were Deception and Hawks-in-Harmony.
After Deception and Hawks-in-Harmony finished their sets, it was time for the largest group of the night to perform, DHS Mixed Chorus. The group of ninety Danvers High freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors sang “How to Save a Life” by The Fray and “Electric Love” by Borns.
Every year, each student in chorus brings in a song that they’d like to sing and through rounds of voting, we narrow it down to two songs. This year I was very excited because I was the student who brought in “Electric Love”.
Next up was Swingtown from St. John’s Prep who make an appearance at A Cappella Night every year. Hawks-in-Harmony was not the only group to have middle school members. Last year, St. John’s Prep began to include grades 6-8 at their school in addition to grades 9-12, therefore so did Swingtown in their group.
The Northshoremen, who also make yearly appearances at A Cappella Night, came on right after Swingtown. Their group consists of 54 members ranging from men in their forties to men in their nineties. They have been around since 1948 and have been singing at A Cappella night since the very first one in 2013. Along with Hawks-in-Harmony and Swingtown, they created a widely diverse age group of a cappella lovers.
Ingrid Sound was up next! Our set featured songs were “Time Machine” by Ingrid Michaelson, the artist who our group is named after, “Out of the Woods” by Taylor Swift, which was placed on the Varsity Vocals Best of High School A Cappella 2017 compilation album, and “The Other Side” by Bruno Mars, which won “Best Halloween Themed Song” at the Haunted Harmonies Competition held in October. The weekend after A Cappella night, Ingrid Sound competed at NE Voices and won first place for this set! We also won “Best Visual Presentation” and we will be traveling to Memphis, Tennessee this coming April to compete at NACC, the National A Cappella Convention.
When we were finished with our award winning songs, it was time for intermission. Everybody either remained in the auditorium or went towards the lobby to buy something from our annual bake sale. The money raised from the bake sale will go straight towards the Danvers High Choral Program.
Falconize and the Hexachords were the last remaining groups when intermission was over. Falconize performed “All too Well” by Taylor Swift, “Maps” by Maroon 5, and “All Time Low” by Jon Bellion. Two weeks after A Cappella Night, Falconize competed in ICHSA Northeast Quarterfinals and won first place for this set! They also won “Outstanding Soloist” for Siobhan Breen in “All too Well”, “Outstanding Vocal Percussion” for Jared Casey, “Outstanding Arrangement” for Bella Burrell, and “Outstanding Choreography” for their entire set.
When Falconize was finished, it was time for our headliners. The Hexachords came on stage and introduced themselves. They then sang their set to which I was blown away by, even after seeing them prior to A Cappella Night. They were absolutely incredible and the crowd loved them.
When The Hexachords announced that their time at Danvers High was coming to an end, the audience expressed their disappointment. As they were saying their goodbyes, people in the crowd began to shout “Encore, encore!” The group made a last minute decision to invite all the singers from the evening up onto the stage with them to sing and dance along to “I Want You Back” by Jackson 5. The stage was so packed and full of people that I thought it would break! The audience was clapping along and everybody in the room was having a great time. It was a perfect end to a perfect night filled with music and excitement and I cannot wait until next year.
By: Jamie Boghosian '18
On November 2, 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed into law, a bill which would institute a federal holiday to honor the great civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a man, known by all, who dedicated his life towards peace and equality. Today, as we do every year, the community of Danvers gathered together at the high school to celebrate his memory and his cause. Several groups including Danvers High School’s own Chamber Singers and Students United for Acceptance (SUFA), joined together to commemorate and continue Dr. King’s work. Other communal groups such as the Danvers Committee for Diversity, Danvers Board of Selectmen, Danvers School Committee, North Shore Unitarian Universalist Singing Group, and the Follow Hymn Singers came to celebrate.
In addition to these older groups, there was also influence from the younger children through the abundance of artwork hung on walls and displayed throughout the space of the atrium. All of the artwork shown was made by Danvers students in grades 3 through 12 with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as the inspiration. Every piece of art was original, filled with colors, faces, and designs that mirrored the spirit of the ceremony.
The ceremony began with a few speakers, sharing their words of inspiration and welcoming everyone to the event. Members from the Danvers Committee for Diversity, Danvers Board of Selectmen, and Danvers School Committee spoke and soon after, the Chamber Singers were called to the stage to perform. We sang three songs: “Imagine” by John Lennon, a gospel number “Shine on Me”, and “Make Them Hear You” from the musical “Ragtime”. Each song captured the message of the day, hope for a bright and diverse future.
When we were finished with our repertoire, Mrs. Ambrozavitch took the stage along with SUFA members to recite some of Dr. King’s inspirational quotes. The room was silent as the students shared Dr. King’s impactful words.
When SUFA was finished, The North Shore Unitarian Universalist singers stepped up to the risers to perform their set, singing powerful yet upbeat and inspirational songs that featured a tambourine player.
The last musical group, The Follow Hymn Singers made their way to the risers to sing. At the end of their set, they invited Chamber Singers, The North Shore Unitarian Universalist Singers, and other audience members to sing along in “This Little Light of Mine” and “Let There be Peace on Earth”. The audience rose to their feet to sing and clap along and the Unitarian Universalist Singers brought the tambourine.
The unity of the groups on stage echoed Dr. Martin Luther King’s own message of unity and peace and brought a fitting end to a very uplifting ceremony. It was a day where everybody could come together to share music, art, and inspiration, all while celebrating one of our country’s most influential figures.