, Salem, MA

May 26, 2010

Salem High a cappella group plans first concert

By Amanda McGregor

SALEM — As millions of viewers tune into the hit TV show "Glee" about a high school glee club, the new Salem High a cappella group has been gearing up for its first concert on Friday night.

WitchPitch? is composed of 16 members who will perform 12 songs during the concert, including the "Glee" rendition of "Somebody to Love" by Queen, and "Man in the Mirror" by Michael Jackson.

The coed group is directed by Alex Grover, a former Salem High student who graduated in 2005.

"A cappella is more challenging," senior Anna Morsillo said.

"You're much more exposed," said senior Ryan Buchanan, who is the "pitch pipe" for the group, "so you really need to work hard to be in tune and with everybody else."

The concert, set for Friday at 7 p.m., is titled "WitchPitch? Goes Green." The group will decorate the auditorium in an environmentally friendly way, and sell WitchPitch? T-shirts made of recycled material.

The students plan to donate 25 percent of the concert proceeds to Salem Sound Coastwatch, a local nonprofit watershed protection organization.

"They wanted to do something for a cause," Grover said. "They're a very motivated bunch."

WitchPitch? formed this year and has nine seniors, two juniors, four sophomores and one freshman, all of whom are also involved in either band or chorus at the high school, Grover said. Senior Chrisanthe Theadorakakis is president of the group.

The group performs mostly pop music, but also some classic a cappella tunes.

"I teach them parts on the piano once, but I try to get them to learn it by ear," said Grover, 23, who is pursuing a master's degree in music education at Boston University.

A cappella is music without instrumental accompaniment, and sophomore Jabari Tovar provides all the vocal percussion.

The group has performed at Salem High music department concerts and Marblehead High School's "Acappellooza" in April and sang the national anthem at a Boston Breakers soccer game.

Friday's concert will mark the group's first solo event.

The other members of WitchPitch? are Adelaide Majeski, Tom Regan, Brianna Cruddas, Allison Lawrence, David Karam, Drew Hammond, Craig Simonetti, Renee Loughe, Emily Kent, Joe Forristall, Nate Bertone and Meryl Schultz.

Want to go?

Salem High School a cappella concert

What: WitchPitch? Goes Green

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Where: Salem High School auditorium, 77 Willson St.

Cost: $5 suggested donation

Benefits: 25 percent of concert proceeds will be donated to Salem Sound Coastwatch