TOWN OF BELOIT — The School District of Beloit Turner was filled with pitch perfect sounds Thursday from the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s a cappella group Fundamentally Sound.
Fundamentally Sound performed in the high school’s auditorium Thursday evening. Turner’s own high school a cappella group Overdrive opened for their collegiate counterparts.
Overdrive is a new group that was formed over this past school year. Director Tim Rosenthal decided to bring Fundamentally Sound out to the district so the high school students could get tips from an a cappella group that has been to competitions before.
Overdrive will be competing for the first time at the ICHSA Midwest Quarterfinals in February.
“I thought it would be good for them to see a group that’s been successful at the next level, to get an idea how compete...and to see what a good a cappella group functioning as a team looks like so we can emulate that,” Rosenthal said.
Before Overdrive and Fundamentally Sound’s performance, the two groups had a workshop.
Kennedy Maxwell, a senior soprano in Overdrive, said Fundamentally Sound members provided not only music advice, but advice on college and competitions. She said the group shared advice on how to arrange music, vote on songs and more.
In terms of preparing for the competition, she said Overdrive is working on three songs with choreography by a student.
Along with an evening performance, Fundamentally Sound had multiple performances for the different middle and high school choirs throughout the day, giving the students the opportunity to ask questions. The group said they compete in competitions that are very similar to the ones seen in the film “Pitch Perfect.”
They also talked about overcoming stage fright. Their best advice? Practice so much the performance becomes muscle memory. It’s also important to remember the audience wants performers to do well.
Connor Amundsen, financial manager and member of Fundamentally Sound, said one of the group’s alumnus attended Turner High School, and they wanted to see where their friend came from as well to help Overdrive get ready for competition.
“It’s been a blast,” Amundsen said. “It’s been great working with the high school and middle school students.”
The group also performed for students at Townview Elementary School. Townview Principal Randy McClellan said the show was fantastic. He ended the performance with a speech telling students to follow their passions into college and beyond.
He said academics are important, but so are sports and the arts.
“It’s just so important to have well-rounded kids,” McClellan said. “It’s not all about books, papers and pencils.”