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The Perennial

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Take Note Takes On ICHSA


   Take Note, Pinewood’s a cappella group, has been working hard as they embark on their journey to the West Coast quarterfinals of the International Championship of High School A Cappella in Burbank on Feb. 10. With a fresh team, the group has seen success after numerous performances. Now, they are aiming to further their success at the world’s largest high school a cappella competition. ICHSA, which features 150 groups over eight regions of contenders, has been a staple of each year’s incarnation of Take Note for the last seven years. This year’s group, composed of senior Kaelyn Smith, sophomore Malaika Boros, junior Mia Gustavson, freshman Ryan Gustavson, freshman Ellis Matula, and junior Josephine Tu, is eager to participate and hope to do well. They stay collected as the competition draws nearer.

   “We haven’t felt too stressed out about ICHSA, but we do have a lot to get done,” director Katie Linza said.

   In addition to their setlist, consisting of “Haze,” by Amber Run, “Guiltless,” by Dodie and “I Want You Back,” by The Jackson 5, the group is learning choreography, which is typical of an ICHSA competitor, but will be a new experience for this year’s Take Note group. This is not, however, their main focus in the tournament; they still place a strong emphasis on perfection in the music.

   “We just need to finesse the songs and make them extra good,” sophomore Malaika Boros said.   

   Competition at the tournament appears to be stiff; as a capella continues to grow in popularity as an activity in high schools, larger and more experienced groups surface. 

  “There are a ton of groups this year that weren’t there last year,” Mia. “It’s going to be pretty tough. There’s a lot more competition.” 

   Additionally, Take Note’s six-member make-up is not typical of other ICHSA competitors, as other groups often have over double the number of members. However, this is far from a detriment; the group has formed a close bond with one another and created a sense of community.

   “I absolutely love having this tiny group,” Linza said. “They’re all so talented in their own right, and I think they’ve each been challenged.”

   Though the group undoubtedly wants to continue the tradition of making it to semifinals, Mia said the whole point is to enjoy the process.

   “Ms. Linza said she’s less and less worried about winning each year, and I agree with that sentiment,” Mia said. “We’re just here for the fun of it, really, and the experience.”

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