Dobbs 16: Hitting the Road and the High Notes

Excited and nervous. That’s how mezzo-soprano Eileen Kang ’26 feels going into her first appearance as part of Dobbs 16 in the Varsity Vocals International Championship of High School A Cappella (ICHSA) Northeast Quarterfinals on February 10 in Danvers, Massachusetts.

For Kang, the road to Danvers is a dream realized: “It's very nerve-wracking, but I am excited about it. We will all be together on stage, and there is no one else that I would rather do this with.”

According to Jennifer Carnevale, Dobbs 16 director and the chair of the department of performing arts, the students are ready to rock: “The group knows the music and choreography for its 10-minute set, and they have spent the past week polishing all the details that make them spectacular!” 

Lead alto Caterina Stoica ’24 is excited to compete again with a different group of singers. “Dobbs 16 has a whole new sound every year as members come and go, and I’m so proud of all the work we put in so far,” she said. “We’ve all gotten so close, and working with them is such a gift.”

The set will include the songs “Toxic” by Britney Spears, “erase me” by Lizzy McAlpine and “No Body, No Crime” by Taylor Swift. It is choreographed by mezzo-soprano Shaza Murigande ’24, who took home ICHSA’s award for Outstanding Choreography last year.

Baritone and voice captain Angel Henriquez ’24 is thrilled to showcase the group’s hard work. “I really enjoy performing ‘No Body, No Crime,’” he shared. “It has such a fun plot twist, and the choreography makes the story pop even more.”

When pressed to pick a favorite song, Kang chose “erase me.” She noted, “The song is very delicate, as it carries an intense range of emotions and sounds. I love how focused we all become on the musical elements and how we are all enraptured by the story. It's definitely a journey.”

Henriquez, a senior, has found inspiration throughout his enriching Dobbs 16 experience. “It is an amazing community of musicians,” he said. “You are always supported and build connections around the one common thing we all love: music.”

As they prepared for the weekend, Carnevale shared a pre-show tradition that “involves a humming circle, words from graduating seniors and from me.” Most of all, she likes to provide perspective in her pep talk: “how far they have come from where they started with the songs, to enjoy every moment, and to let the audience feel a part of that joy.”

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