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Noteworthy Semachords Auditions

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Semachords auditions finished on a high note on January 23, with four new girls admitted into SEM’s a cappella group. This brings the total number of members to 16.

The group previously held auditions in May but the auditions were switched to January for the first time this year. Senior Casey Ball, student head of the Semachords, explained that this was due to gig scheduling. “It was so that we didn’t have to spend all the time in the fall teaching the new Semachords the songs because we have more fall gigs than spring gigs,” she said.

Lola, center, with the other French students: Anna, Olympe, Marie, Enola, Constance and Camille.

The Semachords were originally founded in the late 1950s and were reinstated after a 15-year break in 2012 when Kyle Hopkins joined the faculty at SEM and revived the group. As an a cappella group, the Semachords use only their voices as the accompaniment instead of instruments. Members have to be able to harmonize, hold their own part and blend their voice with the larger voice of the group.

This group of new Semachords is special because it boasts Lola Cottard, an immersion student from France. Lola arrived from Lycee Saint Joseph in Le Havre, France with the other six French students on January 8. She knew from the moment she first heard the Semachords that she wanted to join their ranks. “When I heard all of the Semachords singing on the first day, I was like, ‘this is what I want to do,'” she said. She explained that her school doesn’t have an a capella group, so she was very proud when she told her friends and family that SEM gave her this opportunity. Lola also found that the group helped her integrate herself into the school community. “I’ll remember it for a long time in my life,” she said.

The other new members were a bit nervous but overall very excited. Sophomore Ariana Nieves said “It’s exactly how I expected, but it’s a little nerve-racking since I’m so new. But I’m really excited!” Others were nervous because of the Semachords’ reputation. “People really like the Semachords, so I feel like I have an expectation that I have to live up to. We’re a great group of gals!” said sophomore Alex Galbraith. Others were excited to be singing with such an invested group. Freshman Penny Joseph said “I think it’s really cool to be making so much noise… I’ve never been in a musical group where everyone is so excited about singing.”

Casey and the other veteran Semachords were very excited to welcome the new members. When asked if she had any advice for the new Semachords, Casey said “It may seem like you don’t know what we’re doing, but none of us do. Just go with the flow.”

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Noteworthy Semachords Auditions