Singers come together to form all-female a cappella group
Evelina Gaivoronskaia | Staff Writer
Nine girls are changing the tune of Mason’s a cappella program.
Siren, started this school year, is Mason High School’s (MHS) first all-female a cappella group. The group was started by Katie Hayward, who is the Assistant Choir Director at MHS, after seeing the number of female voices that wanted to be involved in an a cappella group. Hayward previously worked at Kings High School and oversaw their all-female a cappella group, and she said she wanted to use that experience to start one at Mason.
“We had so many females audition for a cappella and we had to turn so many good singers down,” Hayward said. “We wondered if we could expand the program and have an opportunity where we could showcase our singers.”
Senior Anna Gochoel is the lady bass for Siren. She said she considered auditioning for an a cappella group since her freshman year. After Siren’s organizers reached out to Gochoel, searching for a bass, she said she found the courage to audition.
“Being in Siren has boosted my confidence a lot,” Gochoel said. “I never thought that I would be in an a cappella group, singing my own part. But now I am, and we all lift each other up, and I love it so much.”
Senior Marli Tabor was in NoteOrious, the school’s co-ed a cappella group, before getting into Siren. This year, Tabor was put in Siren as a leader because of her experience with NoteOrious. She said the transition between an established group like NoteOrious into a lesser-known, a new group like Siren, was hard on her confidence.
“I have struggled with feeling that I am a little less than what I used to be in NoteOrious,” Tabor said. “They have a lot more training, so they sound a little better, but for our first year, we’re really good. Even if I have struggled with my confidence, I love being in Siren. I love the people there and I love what we do.”
Tabor said that compared to NoteOrious, Siren lacks training and experience in the a cappella field. However, Tabor emphasized that just like all other a cappella groups, Siren is just a group of people with a passion for singing.
“A lot of the girls in Siren are new to a cappella, so they don’t have a lot of training,” Tabor said. “We’re not much different than NoteOrius because it’s just a normal a cappella group, made of people who love to sing.”
Sophomore Ceileigh Rodway has been in choir since sixth grade and was in the Mason Middle School a cappella group Noteworthy. After being a part of Siren for several months, she realized there is a certain amount of pressure on the group to do well. However, Rodway said that the pressure makes the group work harder and improve their singing.
“At first, nobody really knew who we were because we’re new,” Roadway said. “We had the pressure of this year being the first year for Siren. We felt like we had to come in with a bang and let everyone know who we are. That pressure is always there, but now I feel like people are starting to notice us more.”
Roadway said she found that having an all-female group improved the atmosphere during practices and brought them closer together. She said the other group members are there for her, and that trust makes the whole process of singing more enjoyable for her.
“I love being in an all-female environment because sometimes I’ll just go into rehearsal and I know that I need a moment to cry, and they give me that moment,” Roadway said. “We’re all very honest with each other and all of our dynamics work well with each other.”
Usually, a cappella ends after the first semester, so it doesn’t conflict with the school musical, which many of the singers participate in. However, Junior Melanie Kraus said the group decided to perform at the school talent show to be able to sing together for more time.
“We all wanted to spend more time together,” Kraus said. “We wanted to still be able to make music together because it was really important to us. We realized that the talent show allowed us to keep getting together.”
Kraus said that even though starting can be hard, it was very rewarding to know they started something new. She said she hopes that Siren will continue at MHS and become part of the school’s extensive music program.
“We get to start something new here, something that Mason has never had before,” Kraus said. “We get to expand the [music] program, which has been cool. We get to say that we’ve been an original member of the Siren a cappella group at Mason. It’s nice to know that we’ve helped start this.”
Photo and video by Evelina Gaivoronskaia.