Andover A Capella Groups Find Creative Ways to Perform Virtually

Amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, Andover’s a capella groups have devised new plans to adapt to the virtual term. Co-heads from Keynotes, The Yorkies, Azure, and Downbeat shared their thoughts on virtual engagement, with a specific emphasis on group bonding and innovative performance. 

Sofía Garcia ’21
Keynotes Co-Head
“We’re working on arranging a piece for this year’s Grasshopper, which is entirely virtual and pre-recorded. An exciting thing we get to do now is that instead of worrying about choreography or how we’re standing on the stage, we get to think about more abstract artistic decisions and how we videotape ourselves and layer our voices. We can make things so much more dramatic if we layer a bunch of voices on top of something and [edit the audio]. Luckily, Jack Warren [‘22], one of our co-heads, writes his own music and is very talented in audio mixing, so we’re very grateful to have him on board and we’re going to be reaching out to a couple creatives on campus to make this as unique and musical [an] experience as possible.”

Troy Keller ’22
The Yorkies Co-Head
“There definitely [will be] a higher element of perfection to our performances. Since it’s not live, we can pre-record and let everyone do their individual parts, [then] look them over and make sure they’re on pitch, make sure they’re not flat… We can put it together to make sure everyone is on beat, but there is also a downside. [When singing with] a group of people you’re supposed to listen to the people around you and try to blend and match that pitch even if they’re off, and that’s just not really viable currently.”

Logan Gauthier ’21
Azure Co-Head
“I think one benefit [of going virtual] is that it’ll be something people can work into their own schedule. For example, we typically rehearsed on Wednesdays and Sundays, and it’ll range typically three hours a week. But on Wednesdays or certain days, it’s difficult to fit in, if other things were coming up like sport meetings or group projects. Now [if we need someone] to learn this part or submit this clip by Friday, people can work that into their schedule. So, I think that aspect of the independent nature of this year’s situation might benefit us. I think it’s hard learning something on your own, and I think we’re losing what we love the most, [which is] working together and being social and meeting everyone in the group and forming these relationships, but I do think it will be beneficial to fit into our schedules.”

Quintin Moss ’21
Downbeat Co-Head
“We actually have one really big event. Because we can’t perform on campus, one of our members found this competition called Ichsa [International Championship of High School A Capella]… If they think your application is strong enough, they invite you to arrange and record a [specific] song to enter the [multi-staged] tournament. It is actually super competitive so we’re planning on competing in this year and seeing how that goes.”