She Major in international semifinals March 11

Mar 3, 2017 by

THE SKY’S THE LIMIT for the Wakefield Memorial High’s She Major a cappella group. (Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Lowry)

THE SKY’S THE LIMIT for the Wakefield Memorial High’s She Major a cappella group. (Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Lowry)

Published in the March 3, 2017 edition.

By ELIZABETH LOWRY

WAKEFIELD — Wakefield Memorial High School’s all treble A Cappella group, She Major, will be competing in the International Championship of High School A Cappella Northeast Semifinal Saturday, March 11.

The group was selected to move on in last month’s quarterfinal, held at the Galvin Middle School Auditorium. Competing in this tournament will be nine high schools: two from New York, six from Massachusetts, and one from Rhode Island. The top finishing group from this event will advance to the ICHSA finals in New York City on April 21.

She Major was formed three years ago to complement the school’s mixed voice a cappella group, Voices of Steel.

“This is the first time an a cappella group from Wakefield High School has advanced to the semifinals of the International Championship of High School A Cappella. The students in She Major have worked diligently and are thrilled to represent their school and town at the competition in Worcester,” said choral director Ana Morel. “I am incredibly proud of this group.”

Senior Gina DiMascio was recognized with an Outstanding Soloist award for her powerful performance of “Addicted to You” at the quarterfinal last month. “Honestly, getting that award was a rush! It was a surreal moment, and even after it was handed it to me I didn’t actually understand that it was for me. I am unbelievably humbled to have received this award.” Gina is looking forward to the next level of competition. “I am so proud of the show we put on as a group and that we are moving on to the semi finals. Regardless of how that tournament goes, I am unbelievably honored to be one of the girls in gold!”

The sixteen girls wear all black with gold accents when they perform on stage. The look has given them a unifying style, allowing them to really focus on their singing. A cappella music is choral singing performed without instruments. The expression comes from the Italian “in chapel style,” referring to singing without the benefit of an organ which would be found in a church but not a chapel. Today, a cappella is a lively art form; popular music performed without instruments, but with modern technology, it is anything but chapel style. Singers use microphones and a sound engineer mixes the music to provide the best sound possible. Vocal percussionists keep the beat going and most groups include choreography to enhance their shows.

Senior and student director Lou Lowry said, “We have come such a long way since the group’s first year, and we couldn’t have done it if everyone didn’t care as deeply about not only the music, but also about each other. It has been such an inspiring experience singing with these girls, and I am so proud of our accomplishments.”

In addition to “Addicted to You,” which was originally recorded by Avicii in 2014, She Major’s competition set includes “Carry On Wayward Son,” a 1976 mega hit for rock group Kansas, and “The Chain,” by Ingrid Michaelson. Senior Carly Holbrook is the soloist for “Carry On.” This is Carly’s first year participating in a choral group. Junior Lauren Mercer, who is also the group’s choreographer, takes the lead on “The Chain,” a 2011 ballad that resolves in a lilting round.

“I am so proud of the members of She Major for their incredibly hard work and dedication to preparing a stellar performance at ICSHA quarterfinals,” said Thomas Bankert, Wakefield Public Schools Director of Visual and Performing Arts. “I also would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge their director, Ana Morel, as an absolute superstar teacher in the Wakefield Public Schools. I look forward to their performance at Semifinals in Worcester on Saturday, March 11.”

The show begins at 8 p.m. in the Sullivan Auditorium at Worcester State University. Tickets are available at Varsity Vocals website, varsityvocals.com.

 

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