Singers’ Showcase: A Night of Firsts and Lasts

Last+Friday%2C+the+Starry+Knights+Barbershop+Quartet+performed+in+their+last+Singers%E2%80%99+Showcase+with+senior+Joseph+Aguilar+%28left%29.+

Isadora Blatt

Last Friday, the Starry Knights Barbershop Quartet performed in their last Singers’ Showcase with senior Joseph Aguilar (left).

Isadora Blatt, Staff Writer

On Friday, February 11, the Bishop’s Singers performed their annual Singers’ Showcase in the Taylor Performing Arts Center (TPAC). As Bishop’s Singers member Elise Watson (‘22) explained, “it’s like a coffee house, but a little more formal.” The showcase involves solo and small group numbers that are individually organized and rehearsed, rather than full choral songs. “[At] Singers’ Showcase, …people’s favorite artists come out, and it’s a place for Bishop’s Singers to show something off other than the typical choral style,” said Elise. “I love Singers’ Showcase because you get to see a side of Bishop’s Singers that you never get to see during regular concerts,” agreed Joseph Aguilar (‘22). Every year, the Singers’ Showcase is a fun and laid-back night while also being one of many bittersweet final memories for seniors whose graduation is quickly approaching.
For some underclassmen, the showcase is an opportunity to experiment and step out of their comfort zone. This year, Laurel Daly (‘23) sang two original songs, making this her first time that she has performed her own compositions—besides to her mom or voice teacher. She wrote the first song, “Bleed,” around 9 months ago after a hard breakup. “I got my feelings really hurt, and my ego a little bruised, so I wrote a song about it,” she explained. “I wrote it in 10 minutes. That might sound a little scary, you’re probably thinking it’s really bad—but no, I actually really like it.” She wrote the other song, “Say Anything,” for a friend around a month ago, over the course of a weekend.
For another first, Sarah Kaplan (‘23) accompanied her own songs on guitar. She performed “august” by Taylor Swift as well as an original song that she and Maddie Ishayik (‘23) collaborated on. “I’ve been writing a lot of original songs lately, so it was fun to be able to workshop something for this showcase,” she said.
Sophia Gleeson (‘24) was excited for the opportunity to do a solo or small group performance. For her solo, she sang “Stars in the Moon” from the musical Songs for a New World. “I really like listening to new music, and I’m constantly singing new songs anyway, so I had a lot of songs that I could choose from,” she said. “I wanted to choose a song that had a story that would be interesting for the audience to engage in.” Sophia reflected that it was a successful choice, and Laurel agreed.
Sophia also participated in a trio with Chloe Shiue (‘24) and Emma Madany (‘24). Together, they performed “Nothing Changes” from Hadestown. “Since it’s a cappella, we spent a lot of time with the notes and harmonies,” said Chloe. “There are some parts that have been very challenging for us, where we’ve had to just sing it over and over and over again.” However, the trio was able to pull everything together in the end. “I felt good about our performance,” said Emma afterwards. “People came to support us and I love them all.”
For Elise’s final solo, she sang “All the Way” by Frank Sinatra, an artist who is meaningful to her personally. “I’ve been in love with Frank Sinatra’s music since I was young,” she said. The rehearsal process wasn’t too rigorous, since she does vocal coaching outside of school. “I really just had to memorize the lyrics for once, and choose an accompaniment that worked well,” she explained.
The renowned Starry Knights Barbershop Quartet, made up by Joseph, Raphael Delgado (‘24), Marcus Buu-hoan (‘24), and Rithvik Raguram (‘24), performed “Sh-boom”—a crowd pleaser. “Raphael or Joseph usually proposes a song, and we don’t really say no,” laughed Marcus, explaining the rehearsal process with the Starry Knights. This time around, after choosing a song, the group met up at lunch a few times to rehearse before the performance. “Given this is more casual than other Bishop’s Singers concerts, the rehearsal process has been a lot more laid back,” explained Joseph. Even so, the Starry Knights pulled through with a stellar performance to live up to the street credit they’ve accumulated as a group in recent years.
Joseph sang in two additional numbers: a duet with Maya Buckley (‘22), where he puppeteered Kermit the Frog, and a solo performance of “My Way” by Frank Sinatra to end off the night. “I’ve been imagining this day for a while,” said Joseph the day of the concert. “I saw the other seniors doing their last songs over the years, and now that’s me, and it’s this feeling of, ‘huh! I did it!’”