A Cappella Is Back, Live!

Photo provided by Jackson Fromm

Photo provided by Jackson Fromm

Jackson Fromm, Staff Writer

On Thursday night, the RJR A Cappella and choral groups had their first performance of the year. The concert featured performances from the RJR A Cappella groups X, Syncopate, and Acafellas, as well as Treble A Cappella and mixed chorus. 

This was the first concert with an in-person audience since January 2020. Reynolds teachers were eager to be back in the auditorium to support their students. 

“Walking in for a show after two years feels like a little bit of a homecoming,” Civics and Economics teacher Cristofer Wiley said. “I love this space, and I even snuck backstage for the opportunity to wish my students good luck. I’m very glad they have the opportunity for this as a part of their high school careers, and I wanted to make sure I came out to support them.”

It was not only faculty that was in attendance. Students like senior Robert Kluttz were also there to see their peers on stage. 

“It feels great,” Kluttz said. “Just being able to come out here and see a live performance kind of feels surreal to me. I didn’t really know if we’d ever get back here.” 

The singers were feeling a mix of nerves and excitement before the concert. After months of preparation, they were ready to put on a show. 

“All of us have put in so much work to be where we are now, and just being together making live music is just so refreshing after COVID,” sophomore MacKenzie Clegg said.

She is in her 2nd year of A Cappella in Syncopate and is a leader for group X.

During the concert, the different A Cappella groups sang some songs together, such as the opening song, It Takes a Whole Village. The groups then sang their own songs, including X performing We Are Young, featuring soloist Chloe Howard, and Acafellas sang Summer of 69’, featuring soloist Alex Knott. The concert concluded with every singer performing the RJR Alma Mater, Amid the Pines

The singers were in masks for the entirety of the concert. While they do have an effect on singing, they did not seem to cause too much hardship. 

“Yeah, it kind of affects breath control, it’s harder to make a bigger sound,” senior Caroline Thomas said. “But for the most part it’s fine, it just makes it a little bit harder.”

Thomas is in her 4th year of A Cappella and is a student business manager. She also had a solo on Syncopate’s Bills, Bills, Bills.

After the concert, excitement was running high. Singers talked with family and friends and congratulated each other on the performance.

“I liked That Thing You Do, that was done by Fellas,” senior and Acafellas leader Connor Romney said. “I had a solo on that one. I think that was our most energetic piece in the entire concert. I think it was really good, I had a lot of fun with it.”

A Cappella director Josh Settlemyre also had good things to say about the performance. 

“They did a great job, it was a great performance,” Settlemyre said. “It just proves after a worldwide pandemic, we didn’t survive – we’re thriving. We didn’t get worse, we got better throughout that, and now we’re still killing it.”

If you happened to miss this last concert, there will be more opportunities in the near future to see one of the performances. According to Mr. Settlemyre, the A Cappella Jam will include a feature from a surprise special guest, following the Holiday Showcase taking place on December 14th.