Notables in the COVID era

The Notables in pre-COVID times, opening day, 2019 – Communications

One of the school’s distinctive groups, the Notables, stands among the many groups that have had to reformat operations in the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, the a capella group is working hard to continue increasing their repertoire.

     To practice safely, no more than four-to-five boys are in Mr. Hightower’s room at once for rehearsal. The only times the group has actually “met up” is over Zoom. 

     “We are doing four or five groups of boys in Mr. Hightower’s room at once because that is all we can do now,” Sixth Former Ben Fosnocht said. “We work in our voice parts as in a mixed group with one person from each voice part.”

     Additionally, Mr. Hightower created packages containing a microphone, microphone holder, and an audio interface for each person. There are microphone stands set up around the room where each singer puts their microphone on, all linking to Mr. Hightower’s computer in the middle of the room. 

     “We are all spaced out so that we can be safe,” Third Former Render Ford said. “We use the microphones to hear each other instead of being near each other.” 

     Members of the Notables also use the microphones at home to record songs.

     “The microphones allow us to have almost the same audio quality,” Fosnocht said. “It is good to have the technology that allows us to sound like we are still singing in person.”  

     Virtual students are still able to participate in the rehearsals.

     “[Mr. Hightower] has a Zoom projected on the board so that I can still participate in rehearsals even though I am virtual,” Fourth Former Harvey Penington said. 

     Even though they practice in-person, about half of the group’s rehearsals are entirely online. 

     “Every week we are in a different format,” Fosnocht said. “Any time we can rehearse in-person in sectionals or online over Zoom.” 

     Unfortunately, The Notables have not been able to perform at all so far this year. Normally, they would have 40-50 performances around different venues in a year, but they have only “performed” once this year in the virtual Winter Concert. But, the Notables plan to perform for graduation later this year. 

     “A big part of being in the Notables is being able to perform,” Fosnocht said, “This year is just different.” 

     Additionally, The Notables are working with Glee Club and Haverford’s sister schools to sing a rendition of “Non-Stop” from Hamilton.

      “I am really looking forward to both of these projects,” Fosnocht said. “I think they will turn out great.”

“The whole group is committed to taking what we can get, and making the time we have together as special as it always is.”

Ben Fosnocht ’21

      Before these performances, the Notables released music for their cover of “Winter Wonderland.” Filmed and edited by Third Former Pierce Laveran, the video was used as a way to publicize their Toys for Tots concert. 

     “Since we don’t have any concerts this year, this video was a way to show people what we are doing,” Pennington said. “We only had a short amount of time to film, and I think Pierce did a great job efficiently shooting the entire video.” 

     Even with all of these restrictions, members of The Notables are still happy with the work they are doing. 

     “The whole group is committed to taking what we can get,” Fosnocht stated, “And making the time we have together as special as it always is.”