Many have heard of the concept of a cappella through movies like “Pitch Perfect,” but seldom take advantage of Keene State College’s own a cappella group right on campus.
Chock Full O’ Notes (CFON) had their second performance of the semester on Saturday, December 12, in the Mabel Brown Room with a program filled with songs from several genres. As opposed to the group’s fall invitational in November, this performance brought in a lot of alumni from the group, including former music director Jules Reinoehl.
Although she graduated last year, Reinoehl was a part of CFON for all four of her years at KSC and she said that she came back because she still has connections with a lot of the current members.
“I am still friends with a lot of them [CFON members] and I don’t know the new people that well, but it’s fun to see how the group grows and see how much they evolve, and to just be supportive,” Reinoehl said.
Being the previous music director for the group, Reinoehl had arranged a majority of the songs that the group still includes in their performances.
“It’s weird that I am not a part of those songs anymore,” Reinoehl said. She continued, “I anticipated coming back to both of these shows thinking I’d be really sad that I’m not a part of it anymore, but it’s actually really humbling to see that the group still wants to work just as hard as they did when I was a part of it.”
A new member of CFON during Reinoehl’s senior year, Brendan Hoar, is now the current music director of the group. Hoar is a sophomore double majoring in English and education.
“I became a member last year,” Hoar said, “I did chorus in high school and was chorus president, was very musically involved, and I was looking for another outlet here at school. I found out at the student involvement fair about CFON so I thought I would give it a shot.”
Hoar said that preparation for a performance, even if the group is with familiar songs, still takes months.
“For this concert we had three new songs that we learned in three weeks. All the other ones were old, but we still needed to go back and redo them to make sure we have them down,” Hoar said.
With the fall invitational already out of the way, Hoar said that the group’s confidence level has gone up dramatically, making the winter concert their best performance so far.
“The group was more comfortable,” Hoar said, “The newbies weren’t really newbies anymore because they have already been through the ring before with the last concert. Everybody was just more in tune because there was no more nervousness and now we have room to improve, so I would say that this concert was much better than our first.”
KSC first-year and film major Rachel Blumberg said that she knew that she wanted to be a part of CFON the second she saw them perform at Accepted Students’ Day.
“I have always loved singing and I was in choirs in high school,” Blumberg said, “I saw them [CFON] perform at Accepted Students’ Day and I was like ‘I need to be a part of that!’ Luckily, I got it.”
Blumberg said that this concert has been more stressful because they learned three new songs in three weeks, but she is so happy with how the performance went.
“We’ve been preparing since September, and we’ve learned a song a week basically,” Blumberg said.
She continued, “My favorite song is the ABBA medley. I have always wanted to be in Mamma Mia and I got to live it, which was pretty cool.”
Olivia Belanger can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org