After months of rehearsals dedicated to perfecting their set, Dobbs 16 took the stage at The Varsity Vocals International Championship of High School A Cappella (ICHSA) Northeast Quarterfinals on Saturday, February 4.
The 14 members of Masters’ advanced choir a cappella group traveled to Troy, New York, to compete against seven other schools. They performed three songs: “People Watching” by Conan Gray (soloist: Saachi Bogavelli ’25), “Strange Birds” by Birdy (soloists: Shaza Murigande ’24 and Ehimare Ehikioya ’24) and “Heaven Help Me” by Lizzo (soloist: Kathy Christie ’23). Murigande choreographed and Eden Leach ’23 arranged the set.
“I was incredibly proud of the group’s performance,” said Jen Carnevale, chair of the Department of Performing Arts and the group’s director. “They were polished with both choreography and musical arrangements that featured a high degree of difficulty and complexity.”
Carnevale noted that the students meet every other academic day for 80 minutes and attended two choral workshops earlier in the year. “It is a huge schedule commitment,” she said.
Those many hours of practice paid off. In recognition of the group’s impressive choreography, Murigande, who is in her first year performing with Dobbs 16, won ICHSA’s award for Outstanding Choreography.
Hearing her name called “felt amazing,” Murigande said. “I enjoyed the fact that I was able to tell a story through movement. More importantly, I was really proud of the team for executing the choreography so well and making it their own.”
And while the accolade was a welcome surprise, for Murigande, the best part of being in Dobbs 16 is “singing in a room full of kindhearted and talented people.”
Fortunately, the curtain hasn’t closed on Dobbs 16’s appearances this year. They’ll perform at the spring choral concert, the spring gala, Great Gig, and Reunion Weekend.