MHS vocal programs make school history

Elina Bishoyi | The Chronicle

On top of releasing a new album, Mason High School (MHS) vocal programs made school history this year at the Ohio Media Education Association (OMEA) State Choir Adjudicated Event.

Siren and NoteOrious, a capella clubs at MHS, announced the release of seven covers on their new album “Up in Flames” on April 21. A capella, meaning without instrumental accompaniment, consists of a group of individuals performing songs using only their vocals and bodies. Siren and NoteOrious’s album is available to listen on Apple Music, Spotify and Amazon Music.

Senior Noel Mettey, a member of both the Honors Concert Choir and Bel Canto Choir, as well  the MHS NoteOrious a capella club, said singing in these programs has been an important part of her high school experience. 

“I feel like I’m in my element when I’m in a capella,” Mettey said. “At first [a capella] was really intimidating because the music looked really complex, but, each year, it just has gotten a lot more meaningful and fun for me.”

As a senior, Mettey said it was exciting to have a final product for the work the group had put in during the school year. Mettey said she has greatly enjoyed the unique environment a capella provides. 

“A capella is so intimate because you have no other music to back you up,” Mettey said. “It’s a very small group so you’re relying either on yourself or one other person on a part.”

In addition to the a capella groups releasing an album, all four MHS choirs that performed at OMEA State received the highest possible ranking of Superior on their performances. Bel Canto broke past school records, earning a Superior in the highest level of choir, Class AA.

Mettey said her experiences in both competing at OMEA and releasing albums for a capella has helped her outside of choir.

“[Singing] can be a very scary thing for people,” Mettey said. “It’s great to be able to take risks and compete in a safe environment like [choir] because I can take bigger risks academically and in other settings.”

Junior Piper Hamann, a member of the Bel Canto choir, said this year she was excited to push herself and her choir to be better than before. 

“We did a lot better than I think any of us could have ever imagined,” Hamann said. “We were able to easily smooth over our hiccups. When we went to sing our goal was to try to challenge the adjudicators to [critique] us.”

Hamann said that in addition to finding passion performing on stage, she has also found meaningful bonds she built in choir.

“I’m so honored to be a part of this wonderful community being onstage,” Hamann said. “We are just so connected and I have never been in a choir as supportive as ours.”

Sophomore Owen Hicks, a member of the Honors Concert Choir, said that this was his first time performing competitively for OMEA. 

“Performing [at OMEA] was really cool,” Hicks said. “I hope to be a mentor to the incoming members that haven’t [performed] at OMEA before.”

Mettey said her love for the choir program at MHS has inspired her to keep singing as a part of her life after she graduates. 

“[Singing] is something I can use for the rest of my life and music will definitely not leave my life,” Mettey said. “It’s always something that I can always take and apply.”

Hicks said that his experience performing in OMEA motivated him to continue growing as a singer and choir member in the years to come.

“I hope to carry on [the seniors’] legacy and take the choir programs to new heights,” Hicks said. “[Choir has] some of the most welcoming people in the world and the experience taught me that you don’t want to be anything but yourself when singing.”