Lucy Kerr, '23
Every time Sarsaparilla, NCS’s all-female a cappella group, performs for the NCS community I find myself so impressed by the talent of my classmates. The talent of each soloist paired with arrangements that lead to beautiful harmonies showcasing the skill of every member of the group always make for amazing performances. After watching their incredible Music Day performance of Shoot and Run by Maude Latour, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to find out a little bit more about the group by interviewing some of its members.
I interviewed one of the co-president of Sass, senior Georgie Williams, ‘22, along with junior Yenna Chong, ‘23, and the only underclassman in Sass, sophomore Bella Guagenti, ‘24. All three of them were consistent in sharing the positive experiences that accompany their membership in the group and they all enthusiastically encouraged any interested students to audition in the future.
When asked about the most challenging part of leading Sass as president, Williams replied, “I would say the most challenging part of being president would be finding time to schedule rehearsals, just since everyone’s schedules are so different, and the song selection process. You’d be surprised that arranging a song usually ends up taking less time than choosing one to perform”. As a member of Sass, Chong responded that the most difficult part was “finding out the harmony parts, because it requires lots of relistening to the song and creativity”. Along with the challenges, however, there are many upsides to singing in a student music group.
Both Williams and Chong believe the most rewarding part of being in the singing group is the satisfaction of their hard work succeeding: “The most rewarding part is definitely getting to perform and just seeing our hard work during rehearsal pay off. It’s such a good feeling to see everyone happy about their performances and get compliments from students and staff” responded Williams. Chong added that “it is the most rewarding when we finally figure out the parts and have a smooth-ish run through”. Additionally, making connections with other students is a major boon.
Williams and Chong both also remarked that being in Sass has helped them create friendships with students in different grades; Williams elaborated that “Being in Sass has definitely had a positive effect on my school experience. I feel like getting to perform at a variety of different events has helped me get to know NCS and its traditions better, and I’ve definitely gotten closer to students in different grades because of our composition of 10th-12th graders”. Making friends from multiple grades definitely makes Sass a unique opportunity that all of its members want to extend to other students.
All three responded enthusiastically when asked about what they would want to tell students considering auditioning for Sass and emphasized that anyone even possibly interested should consider joining. Chong described the experience as “a good way to make more friends and take your mind off of school. You will also learn more about harmonizing, and it will be so fun for anyone who has any singing interest”. Williams elaborated by saying, “The main thing I’d want to say to prospective members of Sass is to be the most authentic performer you can be during your audition and hold nothing back! Sass benefits from a wide variety of music genre interests, experience levels, singing styles, and personalities. I would encourage anyone even remotely interested in Sass to audition in the future”. Guagenti shared a similar opinion, “At the next Sass auditions I fully recommend that anyone who has any interest in auditioning should! I have found Sass to have such a great supportive community where you can have great opportunities to grow as a singer from guidance from other members and unique song choices.”
When asked about her favorite Sass performance, Williams had a clear favorite, “My favorite performance I’ve done in Sass was for the Spring benefit in February 2020. We sang Elastic Heart by Sia in the Cathedral, sounded absolutely beautiful, and got to spend quality time with each other the day of. It’s kind of bittersweet looking back at it, though, since that performance was on the last weekend before school closed due to COVID, but it’s such a special last performance to have had, and I’m really grateful.”