Along with the four curricular choirs, Pioneer High School had six extracurricular a capella groups: Soulfege, Harmony, Loreleis, Sha Bop Shoppe, Desperate Measures, and Pioneers. This year, sophomores Johnny Kroll and Dzifa Adjei and junior Alex Silva added a seventh group to that list: Mixed Company.
Currently, Mixed Company is the only coed a capella group associated with the Pioneer Choirs. Sha Bop Shoppe used to be coed, but has since become solely a women’s group. “Alex said that he thought that because Sha Bop Shoppe stopped being mixed that he should reintroduce the idea of a mixed a capella group,” said Kroll.
Not only was making audition decision difficult, but getting people to audition was its own feat. Many students did not want to audition for Mixed Company because it took them out of the running for other a capella groups, which hold auditions at the end of the year. “People have this weird idea [that] they have to be in [a certain] a capella group and it comes from the weird hierarchy,” said Adjei. “So we, being new, are instantly on the bottom.”
The three founders of Mixed Company audition for shows with Pioneer Theatre Guild and have auditioned for and/or plan to audition for one of the audition-based choirs. “It helps when you auditions for things being on the other side of the table,” said Adjei.
Besides singing a song of their choice, students who auditioned for Mixed Company had to answer a series of questions so the auditors could get a better sense of who everyone was, besides just their talent. Questions included “Coke, Pepsi, or butterbeer,” and “if you were kitchen utensil, which kitchen utensil would you be?” Auditionees also had to draw a self-portrait.
The group is currently working on arranging Cee Lo Green’s Forget You for an upcoming choir concert.
Kroll has many goals for the new group, including “[being] able to raise in the standings of a capella groups,” which will be accomplished “by being good and by working really hard to produce good music.”
Adjei’s goal is perhaps slightly simpler. “I want to come back in 20 years and watch Mixed Company perform and be like, ‘I did that. I started that.’”