On Thursday, January 11th, Ithaca College’s only all-male a cappella group named “Ithacappella” from Ithaca, NY, came to Berkshire Hills to work with our middle and high school singers. Both the middle school chorus director, Sunhwa Reiner, and the high school chorus director, Julie Bickford, are graduates from Ithaca College.

At the middle school, Ithacapella did a mini beat-boxing workshop with the 5th grade chorus and performed a few short selections for them. On the stage, the 7th/8th grade chorus gathered to hear Ithacappella perform and do full workshop with them. Their conductor, Jacob Kerzner (a native of Sheffield and current music composition major), led discussions about energy and movement in singing, and they showed the students some interactive activities that helped them sing together in rehearsal. The 7th/8th graders performed One Republic’s song “Counting Stars” for them, and Ithacappella helped them sound even better through a few activities.

That evening, Ithacappella performed on the stage of Monument Mountain and sang everything from upbeat pop songs to hip hop to a choral arrangement of “Danny Boy.” After intermission, by tradition, they sang a “Serenade Surprise” to one lucky ticket winner, which happened to be our very own 7th grader Tyler Sprague.
The whole day was a memorable and meaningful experience for our young singers. This a cappella group showed them what hard work and a lot of fun can look like in singing!