A cappella at DHS

The new group shines at DHS

On September 29, DHS chorus teacher Juan Rodriguez held auditions for an a cappella group. The group has been rehearsing each week as members prepare for events and surprise performances this school year.

The idea came up after a group of students approached Mr. Rodriguez last year asking to form their own group.

Senior Allison Beauregard said, “Mr. Rodriguez and I have been talking about forming a singing group since my freshman year, and with the current popularity of Pitch Perfect and Glee, we decided that now would be a great time.”

To sing a cappella is to sing without instrumental accompaniment. The club gives students an opportunity to express themselves through music while spending time with others who wish to do the same. “We want the group to be more than just another club,” said Beauregard. “We want it to be a safe place for the members to go and be themselves.”

About 40 students, both boys and girls, auditioned to be in the group. However, there was such an overwhelming number of girls that no boys made the final cut. “It turned out to be an all-girl group like in Pitch Perfect,” said Mr. Rodriguez.

I consider us a team, and the buzz is very exciting.

— DHS a cappella director Juan Rodriguez

The girls practice once a week and for the most part, practices don’t interfere with sports or other clubs.  “This is another outlet for kids to be involved, and I’m excited to create that outlet.  I consider us a team, and the buzz is very exciting,” said Mr. Rodriguez.

The a cappella group does not currently have a name. However the 19 girls are excited and cannot wait to see the group grow and thrive.

Senior Hannah Charroux said, “I would definitely like to perform outside of school and at school events to get known.”

“I recently arranged a piece called ‘Happy Birthday Do-Wop,’ which the girls will go around and surprise the teachers with for their birthdays by singing to them,” said Mr. Rodriguez.

Not only will the girls be singing to the teachers, but they will also be performing at important events and at sports games, where they will sing a Dixie Chicks version of the “Star Spangled Banner.”

The group is already looking into other ways they can perform as well. “I want to reach out to the entire community [by becoming involved with] Padanaram during the holidays, nursing homes, and shelters.  Maybe someday we will participate in a competition, but we aren’t quite ready for that yet,” Mr. Rodriguez said.

Freshman Cameron Coehlo jumped at the opportunity to be a part of the singing group.  “I’ve always loved to sing, and I really wanted to be a part of a club at DHS,” she said. “The audition process was a little nerve wracking, and there were a lot of people, but Mr. Rodriguez was very helpful and eventually my nerves went away.”

According to Mr. Rodriguez, this isn’t the first time DHS has had an a cappella group.  “I’ve done a group like this before about 16 years ago, and we called ourselves the Madrigals.  Unfortunately, we only lasted a few years because once the upperclassmen had graduated the underclassmen didn’t continue the group.”

“I hope this turns into a really big club that many people will want to be a part of.  I joined to make new friends and to take part in a fun, music filled activity,” said senior Raquel Ferreira. “Hopefully we’ll be able to compete with other a cappella groups in the community.”

“We are as strong as our weakest member,” said Mr. Rodriquez. “It’s a unit, and we all feed off one another. I’m excited.”