A Cappella Jam Sets the Tone

Singers Belt Beyoncé, Kanye, and Franklin

Yiyi Chen, Contributing Writer

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On the chilly winter evening of Saturday, December 8th, the Fitzgerald Theatre was packed with students, faculty, and family members looking forward to witnessing amazing talent at CRLS’ annual Winter A Cappella Jam. The night included performances by six CRLS a cappella groups—Sassafras, Tonal Eclipse, Pitches and Dos, Falcon Fortes, Girls Next Door, and Transpositions—as well as a special guest performance by professional a cappella group Ball in the House.

Audience members were greeted by the emcees for the night, Cecilia Barron ’19 and Cameron Moody ’20. Sassafras kicked off the evening with Destiny’s Child’s “Bills, Bills, Bills,” arranged by the Cambridge Family Opera director, David Bass, and featuring a fierce solo sung by Sydney Down ’20. They concluded their performance with another iconic Destiny’s Child song, “Survivor,” also arranged by Bass, with senior Hanna Carney taking the lead with her powerful, dynamic voice.

A cappella is a really good way to get to know people.”

The evening continued with Tonal Eclipse easing into a steady tempo of “Gone” by Harry Hudson, followed by Rihanna, Kanye West, and Paul McCartney’s “FourFiveSeconds,” and ending with 5 Seconds of Summer’s “Youngblood.” After these three songs, the theatre was filled with audience members cheering and clapping, clearly impressed with this second-year group’s marvelous vocal skills.

Following Tonal Eclipse was a lively performance by Pitches and Dos to Swedish rock group Blue Swede’s version of “Hooked on a Feeling,” arranged by seniors Harry Greenblatt and Vera Targoff. After performing Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky,” arranged by Leo Kupferberg ’21, which included an effortless solo by Andy Naranjo ’20, they finished off their setlist with “Buzzcut Season” by Lorde, which was breathtakingly soloed by Timinte Abraham ’20 and Grace Valaskovic ’21.

The last group to perform before intermission was Dr. Stefanov’s a cappella class, Falcon Fortes, performing “Lucky” by Jason Mraz and “Medicine” by JC Stewart. Their soothing harmonies charmed audience members, ending the first half on a high note.

After a brief intermission, the evening resumed with the flawless vocals of Girls Next Door’s Josie Kuchta ’19, taking the commanding lead on “She Used to Be Mine” by Sara Bareilles. They concluded their setlist with a Khalid medley, arranged by sophomore Abby Jarcho, which included outstanding solos by Siham Nedloussi ’22, Phia Teller ’21, and Stella Jarvis ’21.

The last CRLS group to perform was the Transpositions. They kept it short and sweet by drawing audience members in with their arrangement of “Kiss the Boy” by Keenan Lawnsdale. Senior Jasper Duval took the leading solo with his soulful vocals alongside exciting choreography.

To finish off the night, audience members were lucky enough to witness the professional a cappella group Ball in the House perform. The group treated CRLS with eight explosive numbers filled with unbelievable vocals, incredible beatboxing, and lively choreography. They even got audience members out of their seats, dancing to their rendition of “Cupid Shuffle.” When speaking about this number, audience member Noah Johnson ’20 noted, “It was something that other guest groups had never done before and it really heightened the energy of the room!”

According to Carney, one of the leaders of the A Cappella Program, the show was a huge success. “I think it went super well,” she commented. “I think a lot of the groups were really tight, and I was really impressed by the choreography and also how big the Program has gotten.” Hunter also reflected on the night, saying, “A cappella is a really good way to get to know people from different grades, and even though it’s a pain to wake up early, it’s nice showing all your collective work off at a performance.”


This piece also appears in our December 2018 print edition.