February 01, 2023
A Cappella Festival Delivers Magic to Roberts Theater
The 13th Annual Wyvern Invitational A Cappella Festival was back, bigger and better than ever! Covid may have silenced these vocalists for a couple of years. Still, the singers brought their dynamic A-game to the Roberts Theater on January 28, singing a gamut of classic songs from The Beatles and Stevie Wonder to more contemporary tunes by Hozier and KT Tunstall. A cappella great Deke Sharon hosted the event and provided energetic interludes between the musical sets.
Ten a cappella groups represented the high schools from Lexington, Springfield Conservatory of the Arts, Wilton High School, Bristol Eastern High School, and Fairfield Ludlowe, including Kingswood Oxford’s all-male Crimson 7 (established in 2004 and directed by David Baker) and the all-female Oxfordians (established in 2010 and directed by Steve Mitchell). Each group performed two songs that showcased their vocal dexterity, beatboxing, and choreographic skills.
Crimson 7 performed “Animals/Maps” with solos by Jacob Mapp ’24 and Luke Roen ’23; their second song was “Bright Lights, Bigger City/Magic” with solos by Jacob Joseph ‘23, Leo Kollen ’26, and Riley Mapp ’26. Oxfordians performed “Black Horse and a Cherry Tree” with soloist McKenzie Campbell ’23; their second song was “Always Be My Baby” with soloist Jada Asapokhai ’23.
Lexington High School’s performances were strong, earning their all-female Onomoptepia the top prize, the Gold Citation, and Outstanding Female Solo and Outstanding Male Solo in their all-male group Rock, Paper Scissors. KO’s Jacob Joseph earned Best Vocal Percussion.
The groups were judged by Melissa Jordano, a singer-songwriter and managing member of Backtrack, Mike Hinkle, a performer in NYC theatre festivals and Off-Broadway, and Chrissy Aloisio, who was in the highly-lauded Vocal Point, the University of Delaware’s a cappella group.
On Friday and Saturday before the event, the KO students and the Middle School students had the opportunity to workshop with Sharon to perfect their performances. Upbeat, fun, and engaging, Sharon gave the group positive feedback and insights on engaging more with the audience, using voice inflection to emphasize certain parts of a song and convey a mood. He advised them to pay attention and read one another in the group, so they become more cohesive.
Proceeds from the event netted $6,000, with the funds supporting Team Tobati.
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