13th Annual A Cappella Jam for Hope


Laura Doughton, Online Editor

By Laura Doughton

One of the most anticipated musical performances of the year is A Cappella Jam for Hope. This year Reynolds hosted the 13th annual fundraiser with a cappella groups from East Carolina University, Appalachian State and various high schools from the area who came to perform on January 19.

   Junior Maddy Harvey, co-director of Syncopate, enjoys getting to see all the other groups perform.

   “It’s such a good environment because it’s not a competition…people in other groups want to see us, and others, do well and are so supportive and that’s a very cool thing,” Harvey said.

   Choral director Michael Martinez enjoys the beatbox battle the most. The battle, where each group sends one member to stun the crowd with their beatboxing abilities, adds a little competition to the evening.

   “It’s almost its own separate branch now from a cappella, I mean it’s own kind of category,” Martinez said. “It’s a wild thing.”

   There is a lot of preparation that goes into making the Jam for Hope a successful event. Martinez described it as similar to working on a group project.

   “Now we understand that every member in the group will realistically not pull their weight, that could be anybody from the sound person, to the light person, to another teacher at a school three hours away, to one of our own members,” Martinez said. “That can be a great stresser for the entire group.”

   One important aspect of planning is deciding what cause the donations will go towards. This year all the proceeds went to the Crossnore School and Children’s Home.

   “We want to have the most positive impact possible on these children,” Harvey said. “We’re lucky because we get to do something that we love as well as help out an amazing program with the most deserving kids at the same time.”

   Jam for Hope is only one of the many projects Reynolds A Cappella worked on recently. On December 18, they released their own album, The Gold Standard. Consisting of seven songs, it is now available for purchase in addition to being available on all streaming services including Apple Music and Spotify.

   The lengthy process included three weekends of recording at Liquid 5th Productions in Durham. Senior Business Manager Emma Jones enjoyed the experience but admits that it took some time to adjust to.

   “The weirdest part was not being able to hear any other group members, I could only hear myself,” Jones said.

   Needless to say, A Cappella has had a busy year. On top of their own success with the album they continue to give back through Jam for Hope.

   “We always want to raise more than we did the year before, it’s all about continuously growing when it comes to giving back,” Harvey said.

Photo Provided by RJR A Cappella