Chamber Singers continue rehearsals for acapella competition


Caitlin Leiker

Seniors Zac Wyse, Rebecca Anderson, and sophomore Eliana Buller meet with acapella specialist Shelby Matlock to discuss scheduling and choreography. The Chamber Singers will compete against each other during the Pops Showcase concert on May 4th at 12th Street Auditorium.

The acapella competition is slowly approaching, and the Chamber Singers are striving to take advantage of every remaining rehearsal opportunity they have left before they go head-to-head.

Vocal director Alex Underwood said he’s feeling good about where the students are at during this point in rehearsals.

“I paced this semester to allow for the exact amount of time for each project,” Underwood said. “It’s a little messy right now because we’re transitioning out of contest and into our final projects. As each day passes, the concerts will come into focus, and the students will be more and more prepared, comfortable, and confident.”

Junior Hanna Dannar said that her group mostly struggles with scheduling and staying on topic.

“We are all involved in a lot individually, so trying to come together at one given time is hard,” Dannar said. “As we are all teenagers, we don’t have the longest attention spans, either. Trying to get us all on the same page again takes time that we don’t have.”

Underwood said that this project is the most difficult one the Chamber Singers have taken on this year because it’s all student-led.

“In this case, the students have fantastic instincts, but not always the efficient rehearsal skills to help each other learn difficult music quickly,” Underwood said. “The other issue is that so much of the music is sung with one singer per part. This is a significant challenge and requires fierce independence from each singer.”

Although senior Garrett Cole said he wished the Chamber Singers had more time to work on the project, he knows that it’s important to focus on the team’s goals and what everyone wants in the long run.

“We may get stressed out and not want to do anything anymore, but we need to remember how it can truly help us grow as individuals,” Cole said. “But also, don’t be afraid to take a break. It’s always good to look back on what you’ve done and have some self-appreciation. Just don’t fall behind or get lost in it.”

Underwood suggests that his students should try to stay organized, but that they also need to take some time for themselves.

“Say no to extra events,” Underwood said. “Do tasks as efficiently as possible with minimal wasted time. Live fully in the present. Be kind and respectful to everyone around you, even when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Take time to breathe and for some mental health. This music department is a team, and we’re all in this together.”