On Saturday, Dec. 9, the Keene State College acapella group Chock Full O’Notes performed in its’ winter concert.
Featuring modern artists such as Imagine Dragons and also turning back the clocks to NSYNC and Michael Jackson, the concert showcased a diverse repertoire of largely student-arranged music.
KSC senior Erin Conti, who has been in the group since her sophomore year, was one of the members who arranged a piece that was performed. Arranging your own piece is not an easy task, Conti explained.
“Sometimes the way you write an arrangement or think something’s going to sound is different from when you actually hear everyone do it. If it’s not as full as you think it was going to be, you have to adjust parts.”
Having three of her works showcased, Conti expressed the difficulty the group had with learning one in particular. “I actually arranged three songs that we’re doing, and one of them isn’t an original but it’s an adaptation of one that I found. It’s a mashup of Gravity by Sara Bareilles and Run to You by Pentatonix. It was just really difficult for us to get down and we weren’t sure we were going to finish it.”
Despite having difficulties prior to the concert, the mashup was well-liked by the audience. Sophomore Janis Gaudreau communicated it to be her favorite song performed during the afternoon. “It was amazing, and it gave me chills,” Gaudreau stated.
Over the course of the recital, audience members were asked to donate to the group’s fundraiser. By donating, audience members were given tickets to put into a bucket, to select which new member of the group they wanted to see get pied in the face. If $100 was raised, all of the newbies would get pied. By the end of the evening, the group reached their goal of $100 and all of the newbies were met with a pie in the face. In addition, senior Sophie Katz was pied as well. Katz is the only senior who is leaving this semester.
The group of musical individuals have become extremely close during their time together. Junior Morgan Sulham expressed the bonds made between the members and what being in Chock Full O’Notes means to her. “These guys are like my family on campus. Like we’re all each others’ at-campus family, and it’s just like a really awesome group of people. I’m so grateful to be a part of it.”
While the connections made between the group members could last a lifetime, singing and performing acapella music can be a challenge. Using no instruments, and having all the voices come together as one is tough to do well.
Conti explained how you have to trust the other group members as well as how the methods of learning the music can be hard.
“You have to depend on just your voices. A lot of the times for our group in particular we don’t learn the sheet music, we just learn by listening. Having to rely on just your ears and our own voices can be difficult,” Conti said.
This was the last concert for Chock Full O’Notes this semester, but performances will start again in the spring.
Erin McNemar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Vannessa Nichols can be contacted at email@example.com