Dobbs 16 Prepares for Regional A Cappella Competition

When the members of Dobbs 16 take the stage at the Varsity Vocals International Championship of High School A Cappella (ICHSA) Northeast Quarterfinals on February 10, in Danvers, Massachusetts, they will be singing - and dancing - their hearts out.

Recognizing that synchronized moves are just as important as song selection, the performers participated in an all-day campus workshop on Saturday, January 6.  “It is a session in which all of the choreography for the group’s 10-minute competition set is learned,” explained Jennifer Carnevale, chair of the department of performing arts and Dobbs 16 director. “They enjoyed a meal together before the snow blew in and ended us a bit early. They will continue to rehearse their choreography over the next month in preparation for the quarterfinal round of competition.”

Senior mezzo-soprano Shaza Murigande, who took home the Outstanding Choreography award at last year’s ICHSA Quarterfinals, is the group’s choreographer. Masters Dance Company members Kaela Riley ’26 and Adji Ngom ’25 also contributed to the choreography. “I definitely feel the pressure this year. As a performer and choreographer I always want my performance to be better than the last one,” Murigande said. “But I’ve harnessed this pressure into motivation, to create choreography that the judges will remember.”

“I enjoyed hanging out with my classmates for eight hours straight,” said Ehimare Ehikioya ‘24, lead bass and vocal percussionist. “It helps with the chemistry of our group. Learning the dance moves was also very fun, learning from our mistakes and being able to get things done.”

The group plans to perform three songs: “Toxic” by Britney Spears, “erase me” by Lizzy McAlpine and “No Body, No Crime” by Taylor Swift.

Ehikioya’s favorite song to perform is “erase me.” He noted “the song is so diverse and interesting. The arpeggiated section is my favorite part of the song and I beatbox for two of the songs, and the arpeggiated part has beautiful complex rhythms.”

“We are a singing group; therefore, the technique and delivery of our singing is the main priority,” said Murigande. “However, I believe that choreography is key to ensure that the audience has a good time watching us as well as understanding the story we’re trying to tell.”

The workshop wrapped with a group dinner and bonding activities. Alex Carnevale ’25, tenor voice part captain, media manager, tech manager and reserve vocal percussionist, enjoyed “staying focused and learning the choreography” but also loved “just spending time with everyone and having a ton of fun.” 

Dobbs 16:
Soprano: Cathy He ‘25; Saachi Bogavelli ‘25*
Mezzo-Soprano: Shaza Murigande ‘24*; Eileen Kang ‘26
Alto: Caterina Stoica ‘24* (Lead); Sienna Morin ‘25
Tenor: Alex Carnevale ‘25*; Camilo Bitar-Racedo ‘24
Baritone: Angel Henriquez ‘24*
Bass: Ehimare Ehikioya ‘24* (Lead); Alex Cooperstock '25
Vocal Percussion: Ehimare Ehikioya ‘24; Alex Carnevale ‘25
* denotes voice part captain

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