A local school’s choral department has a new facet within their organization.
Tremble is an a cappella singing ensemble that has quickly caught the attention of the Jay M. Robinson High School community.
Primarily comprised of Robinson’s most advanced choir students, Tremble has elicited an enthusiastic response from listening audiences that range from school staff members to North Carolina Legislature members. Recently Tremble performed at NC ARTS Day in Raleigh where the students had an opportunity to speak to Representatives Linda Johnson and Larry Pittman about the positive effects that the performing arts have had on their lives.
“Joining chorus and a cappella was the best decision of my life” said Sarah Khan, a senior member and the current student president of Tremble.
Being in an a cappella group is not just singing for local events and lawmakers, though.
“A cappella is a year-round sport” said choir director Joshua Settlemyre. “We have no off-season beyond summer break, and we have a two-week intensive a cappella camp prior to the start of school.”
Once school begins, the singers don’t back down from their rehearsal obligations.
“Currently, we have rehearsals on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:30 until 4 p.m.” said Khan. “Mr. Settlemyre often schedules extra weekend rehearsals as well.”
The extra work has not deterred student enthusiasm, as the number of students in the Jay M. Robinson choir program has tripled over the past three semesters. Settlemyre expects that the number of Tremble auditionees will continue to increase as well.
“A cappella music is technically difficult and requires students to develop intense music literacy skills” said Settlemyre.
According to a New England Board of Higher Education research study, music literacy not only enhances student language capabilities, but also improves memory, increases problem solving skills, and creates an environment of patient consistency through true collaboration. Minju Pak, a senior who is planning to attend the Berklee College of Music next fall, loves the response that Tremble gets during their afternoon rehearsal sessions.
“Every time we sing, we get amazing reactions; especially from our school custodial staff. We love how the Robinson custodians will stop in to listen. Music is contagious!”
The Jay M. Robinson spring chorus concert is scheduled for Tuesday, May 21 at 7 p.m. in the David Wright Auditorium at JMRHS. There is no charge for admission.