《声音》启明星专刊 VOICES for Daystar Academy VOICES Spring/Summer Edition 2019 - Page 18

UP CLOSE with the Radcliffe Pitches By Sophie Webster, Tour Manager, The Radcliffe Pitches Arlesia McGowan, Soprano 2 (Senior) Can you please tell us more about the Radcliffe Pitches, who you are and what’s unique about your group? The Radcliffe Pitches were founded in 1975 at Harvard’s historic Hasty Pudding Club. Our group is made up of 12 undergraduates who love to sing. Together, we perform a repertoire inspired by artists such as Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra. Every year, the Pitches perform many concerts at Harvard and around the world, with destinations including England, France, Germany, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, Japan, Bermuda, and Mexico. We simply love to entertain, and our shows range from concerts at large venues to performances for celebrities and private events. Each February, we have the pleasure of singing for the Hasty Pudding Man of the Year, who has included Ryan Reynolds, Chris Pratt, Neil Patrick Harris, and Justin Timberlake in the past, just to name a few. In addition, we spend every spring break performing all over the island of Bermuda, along with the Hasty Pudding Theatricals and our two brother groups, the Harvard Krokodiloes and the Harvard Din & Tonics. What’s special about a cappella? A cappella music is special because there are no instruments involved aside from our voices (and, in our case, snaps!). We try to mimic every part of a jazz song - the bass line, the drums, the piano, the saxophone - with just our voices. This makes for a fun challenge: often, the instrumentation can be quite complex, but it is very fun to dream up new ways to vocally represent different sections of our favorite songs. Can you share with us a little more about the musical make-up of your 12-member group? What are the tones and what are their roles? Our group is comprised of four voice parts: Soprano 1, Soprano 2, Alto 1, and Alto 2, written in descending order from highest to lowest voiced singers. The soprano 1s and 2s usually take turns carrying the melody of the Daystar Academy Spring/Summer Edition 2019 Arianna Paz, Soprano 1, President (Senior) song. Meanwhile, the Alto 1s provide harmonic intricacy in their part, and the Alto 2s tackle the song’s bass line. Three Pitches are assigned to each voice part. How long does it take to learn a song, and what are some of the challenges involved? Learning a song usually takes two rehearsals to get just right, clocking in at approximately 3 hours total. When we learn a new song, we have to be very cognizant of blending and balancing all 12 singers’ unique voices properly. This is essential to our central goal: sounding like one voice. Another important consideration is dynamics -- when are we going to sing loudly, and when are some quiet moments? There are many factors to tinker with when we learn a new song, both in our initial learning stages and in the weeks after as we approach a performance. What are you trying to achieve as an a cappella group? The Pitches’ goal is to entertain and provide high- caliber music for audiences all over the globe. We love to infuse humor into all we do, making for a comedic and musically exciting experience for all. We also hope to spread a message of female empowerment in our song selections while championing the importance of sisterhood and togetherness. How do you feel when you sing together? Singing together is always a very exciting and often a very emotional experience. The majority of our songs are upbeat and fast-paced, and it is impossible not to smile when you’re singing such fun music with some of your closest friends! One exercise we do when we’re