The Hollis Brookline Honors Choir sings it away on live TV

Scott Kroeger, Staff Writer

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to go on live TV and sing in front of your entire state? Imagine the amount of excitement, albeit the intense nervousness you would be holding within, as you prepared to march out and face a live studio audience.

For the Hollis Brookline Honors Choir, this was a night to remember.

Thursday, January 14, 2016, the Hollis Brookline Honors Choir traveled to the WGBH station in Boston, Massachusetts to participate in a local choir competition show called Sing That Thing! The show selects the top 8 groups from 3 categories: High School, College, and Adult.

24 out of some 94 groups of acapella, school, or professional groups located within New England are ultimately picked and compete against the other top 7 in their group’s category to move on to the next round. The groups with the highest grades given by the judges move on.

When asked about how it felt to go on live TV, Brandon Fox ‘16, a member of the HBHS Honors Choir, said, “It was a really amazing experience. I never thought our high school choir would ever be on television.”

He also noted, “I felt pretty nervous to go up there like many people, but it’s definitely an experience that I will remember for a long time!”

Nicola Chomiak ‘16, another HB Honors Choir member, responded by saying, “Initially, we all didn’t think much about it, but when we got there, everyone became super excited. We were just really excited because we felt really prepared and have performed so often together that it was just natural to us. It was like a normal performance, but with a camera.”

To prepare for the event, the group focused on perfecting as many vocal techniques as they could. Another member of the group, Vanessa Hale ‘16 said, “We really had to focus on connecting to the piece personally and as a choir. Right before we began singing the song for recording, [Mr.] Barbosa [HB Honors Choir teacher] mouthed the words, ‘I love you.’ I think that really helped center us despite all the busyness, the cameras, and all the people watching us, and helped us feel the piece and move together as a choir–and as the family that we had become.”

Another member of the choir, Eric Pratt ‘16 added by saying, “The one thing we really focused on was staying mentally sharp. Singing is just as mental as it is physical, so we talked about how we can draw meaning from the song and sing it with passion.”

When asked how the group practiced for the big event in front of a mock audience, Pratt added, “We also performed it for a lot of different people so we could get it out of the way. We just had to make sure that all the lights and cameras didn’t draw out focus away from what we went there to do.”

Overall, it sounds like this is no ordinary group of singers, but more of a family.

“It’s so strong,” Hale said “[Mr.] Barbosa is new this year but he has grown our bond stronger than ever. He makes sure that we know we are a team; a family. And he makes sure that we know that our strength as a family comes before anything else–the music simply follows.”

For more information about Sing That Thing, you may visit the link provided here: