A Cappella groups participate in Kettering National A Capella Festival

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Emma Naille

BY EMMA NAILLE (’18)

The two A Cappella groups, Blue Notes and Ace-Appellas, not only perform at concerts, like the last Christmas concert, but also participate in other events throughout the year, including the Kettering National A Cappella Festival in November.

“We have done all of the choir concerts, we did the craft show, we went to an A Cappella Fest in Kettering and the mattress sale,” senior Blue Notes member Kate Guiney said.

Fourth of July, we went to the elementary school last year,” Snyder said. “I’d really love to have an A Cappella concert here. I’m trying to put together a benefit concert or something maybe get some of the other A Cappella groups like at Denison or have a reason to have an event but it hasn’t happened yet.”

According to senior Ace-appellas member Gabriella Schnaidt, the groups sing, compete and go to clinics and classes at A Cappella Festivals like the one they did in November. However, groups are not ranked, they compete to get to the “main stage.”

“We don’t actually know what we placed we just got,” Schnaidt said. “You’re sorted out into main stage and Aca-Bomb and we made the Aca-Bomb. There were only eight spots [for main stage] and six of them were college, so only two high school groups [made main stage]. Blue Notes also got Aca-Bomb.”

Both Guiney and Schnaidt like the way A Cappella differs from traditional choir. Guiney joined the a cappella groups three years ago. Her first year she was on the Ace-appellas, an all women group that now has 18 members, and for the past two years, she has been a part of Blue Notes, which is both men and women and has 13 members.

“I love singing a whole lot and there’s a lot that you can do with acapella music that you can’t do at all with choral music,” Guiney said. “There’s a kind of freedom that getting to make an entire with voice instead of instruments, it’s really cool. It’s fun.”

Schnaidt has also done A Cappella for three years, and has stuck with Ace-appellas.

“I really enjoy singing and I thought acapella was a cool way to do it cause there’s not instruments involved so it’s just a new form that Granville hasn’t really done,” Schnaidt said.

Choir teacher Kristen Snyder started the groups and still leads them today. The Blue Notes started seven years ago and Ace-Appellas started five years ago.

“I started the Blue Notes while I was still teaching middle school at the time,” Snyder said. “It was the “Aces Moving” then that just became the Ace singers I think, that was a jazz group and that was kind of dwindling and so it needed an new life so that was kind of a popular thing because of the show, “The Sing Off,” a lot of places were starting A Cappella groups and colleges were starting A Cappella groups so I was like I’ll start an A Cappella group too,” Snyder said.

Students try out for the groups in May of the preceding school year and then participate in a camp before the school year starts.

“They can come to a camp, usually there’s a three day before school starts so I can get them started because once school starts they really don’t have enough time.”

Snyder decides what songs they will perform, though the groups do get some say.

“Most of its popular music so they know a lot more than I do,” Snyder said. “So they suggest songs to me usually I make a list and listen to see if it would a be a good A Cappella arrangement. So I listen a lot more to the background than anything else. Then I decide.”

The group sings mostly music that they personally like.

“We sing a lot of upbeat songs like we sing a wide variety of songs. It’s definitely, not necessarily current but what we we like. The kind of music that we would want to listen to, that’s way more fun and cool to make into something else,” Guiney said.

The groups are planning on performing at the spring concert, and might also do another A Cappella fest.

“Our next event I think is our spring concert but we might have a concert in between that or another acapella festival, we’re still deciding,” Schnaidt said.

Guiney loves getting to make music, since A Cappella uses no instruments.

“I guess making music and I have a ton of fun and I’ve gotten really close with the other people in the group,” Guiney said. “But making music is super rewarding.”

Schnaidt loves the relationships she’s made being in Ace-Appellas.

“Bonding with the girls,” Schnaidt said. “I really enjoy when you sing and get into the perfect rhythm and can hear a final piece come together, it’s so much fun.”