It’s hard to believe that the now successful and well-known acapella group, Keynotes, is only two years old. Created by Anna Stacy ’13 in her Lower year, Keynotes began as an informal group of friends that people attended sporadically.
Now, the audition-based group is Andover’s only co-ed a cappella group that is student directed. Co-Heads Tom Burnett ’15, Ali Decker ’14 and Harry Wright ’14 arrange every song that is performed by the Keynotes.
With about fifteen talented members, Keynotes rehearses twice a week, fitting in three hours of practice. The heads take pride in the fact that the group is the only co-ed one among its peers.
“We find that we can perform a much wider variety of music, since we have both boys and girls,” said Wright.
Keynotes also performs at a variety of different shows hosted by the Academy’s Student Activities, Admissions, and the Theater Department.
From this range of many different performances, Wright and Decker feel that the best accomplishment this year has been Grasshopper Night. Keynotes performed “Summertime Sadness” by Lana del Rey, pretending to be the subjects in the painting “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” by Georges Seurat. The singers started in the same positions as the figures in the painting, then leapt out of those positions as the music picked up.
“Everybody was proud of it, and people were telling us that we were sounded better than last year… I was nervous about having the club still be successful without [Stacy]… It just made me happy and proud of the group, really just happy to be certain that it would exist,” said Decker.
Along with his personal growth as Co-Head, Wright believes that the members also learn and grow as a group.
“I think people really enjoy being part of an acapella group… I think it’s a very unique experience for them… It really teaches people about working together, blending, and learning how to balance each other, and also how to be a good member of a group and work with others,” said Wright.
All the heads agree that the sense of community and teamwork has become a favorite part of the club for them.
“My favorite part about the club is the friendships. Many of my best friends are in Keynotes, and I wouldn’t have gotten to know them otherwise. I think other people value the friendships as well,” said Burnett.
The heads are hoping to work towards some major goals.
“Keynotes needs to perform a lot more… We need more traditions as well- traditions help keep clubs alive,” said Burnett. Burnett also hopes to begin performing informal concerts on the weekends.
Wright aims to continue maintaining Keynotes’ reputation as a club on campus and to retain members. A club very different from others presented at Andover, Keynotes provides a place for students to explore a unique formof vocal art. Burnett invites students to join, since members “don’t have to be a polished superstar!”
“[You should join] if you want to have fun and perform music, and you don’t have to have experience… You can just have fun and get better with music. We’ll be happy to teach people how to read music,” said Decker.