Even During Virtual Learning, Acapali Finds Harmony

Sierra Sugarman, Features Editor

Pali’s a cappella group, Acapali, has continued to sing and perform virtually over the past year with multiple in-person meetings. The group conducted auditions for the upcoming 2021-22 school year and is already conceptualizing changes they will make in the fall.

Acapali is a student-run a cappella group that is “extremely collaborative,” Acapali president-elect and junior Jessica Jacobs said. “Teamwork is enunciated so much throughout what we do.” 

Acapali president and senior Lola Stockard said that students auditioning for the group were asked to prepare a one-minute song of their choice and fill out a short questionnaire. If they were called back, they harmonized with a pre-recorded track and participated in blending exercises while on Zoom before the final decisions were made.

The group was looking for students that were able to harmonize, had strong voices and blended well with the current members, according to Stockard and Jacobs.

Stockard said that although she missed the collaborative aspect of in-person auditions, she thinks the group was still able to find strong singers for the upcoming year.

“[Acapali] looked like so much fun and I wanted to be a part of it so badly,” said sophomore Carlie Given, who will be joining Acapali next fall as one of five students replacing graduating seniors. “I can’t wait to learn all of the harmonies and fun medleys with everyone!” 

In years before the COVID-19 pandemic, Acapali met during lunch about every other week and more frequently right before a performance. This year, group members met at a park every few weeks while adhering to COVID-19 safety guidelines, Jacobs said.

Although she has enjoyed Acapali over the past year while it was online, Jacobs said that she is looking forward to “when we can see each other and sing together because that feeling is unlike any other.”

“The thing I love about Acapali is that you don’t need to be a standout super professional singer,” she added. “Being able to work as a community and have your voices accommodate each other is legitimately the main goal of Acapali.”

Unlike prior years where they would come up with harmonies and background material for their songs, this year Acapali used sheet music because they weren’t able to meet in person to orchestrate their music very often, Jacobs said.

As Pali transitions back into on-campus learning, Jacobs said she plans on continuing to incorporate technology and communication tools into Acapali. This includes utilizing platforms such as YouTube and SoundCloud to gain inspiration from other acapella groups in order to find “new ways to add backings to songs and spice things up,” Jacobs said.

Jacobs plans to incorporate more medleys into their performances next year as well.

“We just want to have a good time,” Jacobs said. “It’s not singing so you feel forced to, it’s singing because you want to.”

To keep in touch with Acapali and view past performances, you can follow them on Instagram @acapaali.