By Sophia Cheng
Pinewood’s Performing Arts Department is known for putting on show-stopping performances — from its sensational spring musicals to the dazzling harmonies sung by Women’s Chorus. But perhaps the most rigorous, selective program of them all is the school’s aptly named a cappella group, Take Note. Every year, this talented group of high schoolers competes in the International Competition of High School A Cappella, or ICHSA. The team, made up of 12 elite vocalists, will be singing “when the party’s over” by Billie Eilish, “Evergreen” by Yebba, and “Fill the Void” by Alli Fitz.
In the lead up to the competition, director and founder of Take Note Katie Linza was excited to watch her students work their very hardest.
“This will be our fourth competition, and it’s a really great opportunity for the kid. We go with the expectation of not winning, necessarily, but just being able to sing amongst other really talented high school groups and do our best,”
Junior Justin Stangenes was also anticipating his first time competing in ICHSA due to the number of seniors alongside him.
“I’m really hoping we can honor our seniors this year because most of them have been in the group since freshman year. I really think that this trip should be about them because they’ve been here since the beginning, which is a huge deal,” Stangenes said.
According to senior Esmi Pistelak, Take Note’s resident beatboxer, there will be a lot of change in the group’s performance this year, and it is not just because of their new members.
“We’re doing some different things with our choreography, focusing more on vocals and our costumes as well, we’re changing them up a bit,” Pistelak said.
However, the changes onstage were not the only ones happening this year; this year, the competition has relocated to Salem, Oregon.
“We’re lucky enough to be able to fly there, have a hotel — it’s a really big deal, especially because we’ll be in a different state. It all just makes us want to work harder,” Pistelak said.
Pistelak did not attend the competition due to an illness, and the team did not place. Team members noted it was an educational experience for the a cappella group, and regardless, they hope next year will be even better.