Spotlight On: Pitch Please
January 12, 2017 • 297 views
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As we return from our winter break, the Spotlight team here at the Banner took a time to reflect on the Harriton High School’s Music Department’s winter concerts which were performed a few weeks before students headed for break. We were able to interview one of the groups who gave the audience a starlit performance on December 24th.
The Pitch Please group, which meets every Wednesday after school, consists of seventeen talented singers this year: Allegra Greenawalt, Anna Fleming, Aurora Murray, Ben Newman, Callie Eisner, Carly Siciliano, Emma Johnson, Hannah Richter, Harleigh Myerovich, Jackson Eisner, Jackson Portnoff, Julian Greenawalt, Jon Zamsky, Max Flora, Kate Rende, Rachel Bershad, and Zach Alfred-Levow.
HB: Please tell us about how your winter performance went.
Zach Alfred-Levow: I thought the winter performance was amazing! Back in October, we had a really long audition process, so we ended up with only about six or seven weeks to prepare for the concert. I was so proud of how everyone did. Everyone gave maximum effort and brought a positive energy to the table so that we could actually pull it off, and we rocked it!
Anna Fleming: That concert was an adrenaline rush for me. Around the time of the concert, we’d been focusing on strengthening our group dynamic, and having fun together while performing. I was immensely proud of our group that night for simply having an amazing time together. As Zach said, the audition process was stressful and emotional, and we’d been planning the group together since summer, so seeing the concert, that culmination of everyone’s effort, was really satisfying.
HB: How do you guys manage to run smoothly without a teacher supervisor and an all-student cast?
Zack Alfred-Levow: We’re not entirely without a teacher supervisor. Dr. McKenna pokes his head in from time to time, and he helps us a lot with organizing events. But otherwise, we operate mostly without any outside help. I think we run smoothly because we picked people who were really talented, really fun to work with, and wanted to sing in this group. I think Anna’s really great at what she does, and I try my best too, but most of it comes from everyone’s own willingness to work and sing and have fun.
Anna Fleming: One of the reasons I love this group so much is that everyone who is there really wants to be there. This really helps with group motivation and making sure that we learn the music quickly.
Hannah Richter: Everyone in the group has respect for each other, and especially for our directors Zach and Anna. We are able to work together without feeling nervous or uncomfortable, and that enables a really great environment.
HB: What makes you guys such a talented cast?
Zach Alfred-Levow: Again, I think we’re talented because we picked great people who love to have fun, can sing really well, and aren’t afraid of a little hard work!
Anna Fleming: The members of our group are dedicated, and really love music. Our talented members have the capacity to think about what they’re singing, what it means to them and to the group, while performing, and that’s what makes our music really special. Our cast was chosen for their outstanding musicianship, and positive energy.
Emma Johnson: I think what makes us such a talented group is our passion; people are there because they love to sing, and they’re good at it.
HB: What do you guys hope to achieve this year?
Zach Alfred-Levow: We have a competition coming up in February, so I hope that we kick butt there! I think it’d be cool if we sung the national anthem at a Harriton game or two, or if we sang at another non-school related event. I’d personally be happy if we just rocked out the spring concert.
Anna Fleming: Certainly getting some gigs around school is important to put the group out there and make ourselves known, but the most important thing for the group, to me, is to make this a really fun experience for all of our members. Music is fun when you really get into it, and it’s exciting for me to share that with other people.
HB: What has been the biggest challenge to overcome as a group so far?
Zach Alfred-Levow: I’d say time. Forty-five minutes a week can be a little short in terms of rehearsal time, but when we’ve needed to, we’ve used a couple Lunch & Learns and gotten the work done that we needed to.
HB: How are you guys different from other music groups at Harriton, such as, Chorale, for example?
Zach Alfred-Levow: We’re one of three vocal groups at Harriton, besides Concert Choir and Chorale. We’re also the only music group that’s entirely student-run.
Jonathan Zamsky: The aspect of Pitch Please that sets us apart from the other vocal groups is that this group is an extremely authentic reflections of the ability of students. All other groups has a teach or a supervisor, but Pitch Please uses only the talent in the student body and puts it on a stage where it can flourish.
Anna Fleming: Pitch Please is special for a lot of reasons, but the one that sticks out to me the most is the character of all the group members. Everyone was chosen not only based on their outstanding musical talent, but also on their kindness and enthusiasm, which are crucial for creating a positive group dynamic. If you’ve ever seen us perform, you’ll know it’s about both creating amazing, complicated music, and having fun together as friends.
HB: Is it too late to join Pitch Please? If yes, what should those that are interested do in the future to join?
Pitch Please: Unfortunately, yes. You have to audition to get it, which takes place in the beginning of the year. Next year at RAM Day, please stop by our table and sign up for an audition!
If you were not able to make it to the wonderful Peach Please winter performance, you can still check one of this group’s very own songs performed, “Broar.”