New sounds, No Instruments

Students find their sound when being apart of the SNJ acapella group

Makenna Cole, Staff Writer

photo courtesy of Chloe Moore
SNJ Singers performing in their annual show.

Acapella is a new trend, reaching higher levels in popularity than it has in the past. During the past couple of years, people from all over have seen movies like Pitch Perfect or groups like the Pentatonix take the spotlight from regular artists and showcase the wonderful sounds of acapella.

Sharon North Jones Studio of Music (SNJ) is a performing arts school that has students from around the Millard area, Papillon and other parts of Omaha. They do things from dancing to acting and theatre, and of course, singing. With its start in 2002, it has been allowing students to sign up and join different choir groups with a variety of ages. SNJ has been attracting choir and show choir students of all districts and helping them learn things that they might not have known before about music.  

SNJ shows the trend of acapella to different students around the city. Acapella is made using no instruments, just vocals and can incorporate hand and feet sounds to imitate different instruments.

“I just recently joined and it’s really interesting to hear the people around you make the different noises and sing at different tones,” senior Hailey Hatcher-Storm said. “There are many participants of different ages so, it kind of shows you the diversity of the voices in the group, and I love seeing how it all turns out in the end.”

One of the many positives from being a part of this group is it is not a competition team, but simply a “sing around the community” kind of group, which removes any stress of competition from the students in it and relives the competitiveness between the group members themselves. The people joining this ensemble continue to increase every year making the group bigger and better.

The SNJ acapella group has 50 members of both genders, and different ages, to help their sound become more stronger and powerful. Students step out of their comfort zone and meet the new people. They practice once or twice a week depending on the month and the events coming up, so they tend to see a lot of each other beforehand.

“This is my first year in the group, and I joined it because of a friend that has been a part of it for a while,” junior Nathan Lemon said. “One of my favorite things about being with SNJ is meeting new people from around the area. When I first started the group I didn’t know very many people and now I have friends that I didn’t know prior to joining. The people there are so nice and fun to hang out with and I am really enjoying it.”

Acapella is not a simple sing and go, it takes time and effort to learn the different vocal ranges in the songs they are singing. The first time learning the songs do not sound as good as it will turn out to be in the end. Trying to find the different harmonies needed to go into the songs they are singing are hard to find, and also trying to make the song sound like something you might hear on the radio, with instruments in the background.

“The hardest part to me is trying to perfect the harmonies when we are singing a song,” freshman Seth Simmerly said. “It is also really hard to get the noises we make, to represent the instruments, match our singing because we usually are learning a new song to perform, so it is really unfamiliar to us.”    

Every year SNJ holds an Acapella Festival in the spring to get audiences to learn the beauty of what acapella can really be and show what the students have learned over the past couple of months. SNJ singers are wanting students mainly of the middle school and high school ages to come and help their group expand.