The art of a cappella


Casey Tedrow

Sophomore Krishaan Vadia, senior Fabio Cruz, junior Trenton Sookram, seniorCameron Morgan, senior Ryan St. Pierre, senior Preston Fisher, junior Cooper Peters, senior Lincoln Eads and senior Michael Cherry, all members of Sh’boom, sing the national anthem at the Homecoming football game on Sept. 24.

Emmy Lockhart, Staff Writer

The claps of the audience ring throughout the dimly-lit auditorium. The stage lights rise up. Anticipation builds in the stomachs of both senior Ryan St. Pierre and junior Cooper Peters as they await their entrance onto the stage of the Center Grove auditorium. Moments like these are no stranger to St. Pierre and Peters, who are both members of Center Grove’s all-male a cappella and barbershop group, Sh’boom.

Consisting of nine students pulled from each grade level, Sh’boom is a student-led group that typically participates as a special act in the choir program’s seasonal shows. They also carol around Greenwood and perform at various events.

“Sh’boom was first established by Wilson Smith in 2016,” senior Ryan St. Pierre, the group’s Student Director, said. “Ever since, it has been a successful group.” 

As the Student Director, St. Pierre determines who makes it into Sh’boom after auditions are held, along with the help of the choir directors. 

“We hold auditions in the spring before the next school year, and auditions consist of the guys singing a 4-part a capella song in groups,” St. Pierre said. “I look for effort, intonation, tone, confidence and blend in the guys.”

As members must audition each year, even if they were a member of Sh’boom the year before, auditioning is a process that each member must adapt and grow comfortable doing. 

“Auditioning for Sh’boom was super low stress, just learning our voice part and practicing on our own before we sing together; it’s all very chill,” Cooper Peters, a junior who has been a Sh’boom member since his freshman year, said.

As Sh’boom holds auditions for all grade levels, many of the members stay in the group throughout their high school experiences.

“Joining Sh’boom as a freshman was a very interesting experience. The change of Sh’boom leadership from my freshman year to present day allowed for a unique perspective on the group dynamic that we could have, with varying levels of success in real-world opportunities and choral ventures,” Peters said. “As I’ve grown, I’ve appreciated the opportunity to help younger members grow in musicianship.”

With Sh’boom having a busy schedule completed with features in choir shows and other various performances, members of the group dedicate time each week to focus-in on their newest pieces. 

“We hold rehearsals every Sunday from 11-12:30, though the time may change each year depending on the members of the group and their schedules,” St. Pierre said. “We love and enjoy what we do, and we are happy to have the opportunity to sing and spread joy to others.”

While this practice time is intended for work on the group’s upcoming performances, these weekly sessions are also a social outlet and enjoyable process for the group.

“We all gather weekly to do something that we love as music has put a positive impact on all our lives, allowing us to have fun together doing an activity that means so much to us,” St. Pierre said. “All of Sh’boom and alumni can agree that singers keep coming back because of this fun and their friendships.”

With weekly rehearsals and several performances throughout the year, Sh’boom members share a camaraderie built through the music they work through and enjoy together.

“Meeting every Sunday to work on a piece, banding together to make some great music, it’s all such an awesome process,” Peters said. “The opportunity to work on our own and dictate how we want to perform and create our own show is such a unique and enjoyable process. The beauty in the self-reliance of putting together a brand new piece is hard to overstate.”