Bolden revives Bella Vocé
Senior Emily Jefferson and several other students walk into McDonalds, but they’re not there for the chicken nuggets. They take their places and begin to sing as onlookers in the crowded fast food restaurant watch them quizzically as they sip their drinks. The group, completely clad in black, finishes their song as the interested customers applaud.
Jefferson is one of the members of Bella Vocé. The a capella group started by previous music teacher Daniel Briggs has been restarted this year by current music teacher Marc Bolden. “It’s a group that can travel really easily,” Bolden said. “It’s good for any of those off campus performances.”
The group has performed at places such as St. Margaret’s, The Bel Air Public Library, and even a radio station where they performed the jingle for Valley View Farms. Junior Kyleigh Daiker describes the group as able to “represent John Carroll and provide entertainment.”
They have also performed in this past annual Christmas concert and will perform again in the spring concert. Bolden hopes that the group can build on what they’ve done thus far. “We’re going to try and flash mob some areas,” Bolden said.
Because of the mobility of the group, Bolden had to be selective. “No one knew they were secretly auditioning,” Bolden said. Despite the measures taken to be secretive, rumors spread quickly in chorus as new members received “secretive emails” telling them to come to meet Bolden at the end of the day.
“We couldn’t tell anyone,” Jefferson said of the emails, “So we all went to the meeting, unsure about what was going on, and it was there that he told us we were the new Bella Vocé.” It was a pleasant discovery for Jefferson. “I was surprised and excited when I found out I was chosen to be in Bella Vocé because I did not do chorus last year and was just jumping back into singing.”
Jefferson was not the only one excited to have been chosen for Bella Vocé. Daiker was also happy about being chosen. “I was very excited that I was accepted because you have to have a strong singing ability to be a part of it so I felt flattered,” Daiker said.
Because there is no longer a higher and lower level of chorus, Bella Vocé also helps Bolden work with students who may be more serious about music. The group practices every Monday evening for an hour and a half as opposed to every morning before school. Bolden gets to work closely with the singers as they grow in their talent. “I like that it’s kids that truly want to be there,” Bolden said.
As a member, Jefferson especially liked performing the Valley View Farm jingle. “My favorite performance so far was probably when we sang on the radio station for Valley View Farms. Even though it was really early in the morning it was a ton of fun!”
Daiker’s favorite performance so far has been the McDonald’s performance. “McDonald’s was very fun and a lot of our families came to watch us. It was very laid back and professional and the McDonald’s staff even advertised us on their billboard outside the restaurant,” Daiker said.
Jefferson considered the performance “awkward” both she and Daiker agree that the best part was receiving free food.
Chioma Iheoma is an A&E Editor for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com