Zoom A Capella: A Permanent Solution to a Temporary Problem

During these lonesome times filled with virtual meetings due to the threat of COVID, one video chatting platform has become a common household celebrity: Zoom. Waving to the little squares on the screen of the faces of people you just barely remember, checking yourself out in your own Zoom box instead of paying attention, the awkwardness of unmuting and muting again—every Zoom user is very familiar with these common situations we face every time we get the dreaded Zoom link in our inbox. High schoolers who must partake in activities remotely roll their eyes at the thought of the online environment; after all, how does one play Zoom basketball? However, the choir and a cappella groups at MHS bring a new challenge to the virtual stage: singing.

Ah, the lovely “songs” we can sing through the screen! No where else is there a way to have the tempo so different in the soprano and bass parts, and how else could one get the remix caused by the audio cutting in and out? Although the a cappella groups have shied away from trying to use this online platform to actively practice all together, I ask: why not? The uniqueness of these unprecedented times could be so beautifully reflected in the “music” we will make! In fact, at the end of it all, maybe we should completely do away with singing in person. How else could one mute a singer that is singing in four different keys, somehow at the same time? After all, it is the digital age. Nora Bekkai, manager of select a cappella group Luminescence, says, “Zoom calls are the only way to get everyone to show up on time. Who cares if we sound like a pack of wild dogs?” 

This opinion is shared with Nick Williams of co-ed select group Jewel Tones, who says, “There is an immaculate dissonance that comes with Zoom Choir that is unable to be replicated through any sort of post-production. It is absolutely glorious.” He even goes on to say, “As a result of this marvelous discovery, I am leading the revolution to dismantle the Jewel Tones from the inside. Don’t tell anyone!”

To quote one musical genius, “To sing on Zoom is to hear a symphony of voices from people who don’t know what in the world they are supposed to be doing.” ~ Beethoven, probably.

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