Acapella music reigned at St. Mark's on Friday, February 1 and Saturday, February 2, as the 26th Annual Wick Choral Festival took place in the Putnam Family Arts Center's Class of 1945 Hall. Over both nights, the two St. Mark's acapella groups—the Royal Blues and the Marksmen—were joined by guest performers: groups from both high schools and universities.
On Friday evening, after a welcome from Head of School John C. Warren '74, the music got underway. James Wallace, director of music at St. Mark's and chair of the School's arts department introduced a series of talented acapella acts.
The Marksmen opened the festival with dazzling renditions of Toto's "Africa," the Zac Brown Band's "Colder Weather," and Straight No Chaser's medley of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow/I'm Yours." The Royal Blues followed with a wonderful set filled with superb harmonies, featuring "Diane," "Ocean Eyes," and "Wild Things." Between their respective sets, the two St. Mark's groups combined to perform the Beach Boys' "Barbara Ann."
From Middlesex School came the MXolydians and Bateman's Bullfrogs, performing "Green Light," "Attention," "Rich Girl," and "High Hopes," along with "Quarter Past Midnight" and "High Hopes."
The Wheeler School's 18 Wheelers were backed, colorfully garbed and replete with choreography, singing "Perfect World," "Evergreen," "Symphony," "Valerie," and "Thank You."
All the performers then assembled on stage at the behest of Mr. Wallace, to join with the audience in singing Myron Wick's favorite song: "Lida Rose."
The Opportunes from Harvard University closed out the festival, performing seven songs: "Bad," "Sour Candy," "Sandcastles," Havana/Smooth," "Pray," "If I Go," and "My Mind."
On Saturday, the Marksmen again kicked off the show, followed by The Greensleeves and the Nobleonians, both from Noble & Greenough. The former sang "One Voice," "Best Thing I Never Had," and "Oops, I Did it Again/Toxic Womanizer." The latter performed "Take On Me" and "Human."
Making their Wick Festival debut were the members of Ladies First from nearby Algonquin Regional High School. They sang "Belly Ache" and "1950." Also from Algonquin, Wick veteran Algoncapella performed "Runaway Baby," "We Don't Talk Anymore," and "Writings on the Wall."
Back again at the Wick Festival: the Latonics, the all-male acapella group from Roxbury Latin. They sang "Fine by Me," "One Last Song," "Beyond the Sea," and "Down on the Corner."
Just before the traditional "Lida Rose" break, the Royal Blues from St. Mark's made their second appearance of the weekend. Several members had been competing in the prep school squash nationals in Hartford, but now all were back and ready to take the stage. They repeated their Friday set most impressively, and then welcomed the Marksmen to join them again on "Barbara Ann."
The Boston University Dear Abbeys were the featured college group at Saturday's concert, and they delighted the audience with nine songs linked by clever banter and introductions. The Dear Abbeys opened with their "Abbey Anthem," and then continued with "Only Angel," "Yesterday," "Dancing Queen," "Tangled," "Strangers in the Night," "Still Feel Like Your Man," "(No One Knows Me) Like the Piano," and "Cough Syrup." They also offered free CDs after the show.
On both Friday and Saturday evenings, each concert was followed by a reception in the Class of 1951 Lobby and Taft Hall. All in all it was an excellent Wick Festival!
The Royal Blues – Maeve Ahern '20, , Mei-Mei Arms '19, Tess Barrett '22, Haley Dion '19 (co-President), Libby Flathers '21, Mary Flathers '19 (co-President), Elise Gobron '21, Frances Hornbostel '21, Paula Hornbostel '20, Shelby Howard '19, Caitlin Lochhead '19, Clementine McKeown '19, Padma Mynampaty '22, and June Seong '19.
The Marksmen – Patrick Dei '19 (co-President), Kartik Donepudi '21, Michael Ferlisi '22, Tommy Flathers '21, Nick Karlsson '19 (co-President), Conrad Krapf '20, Will Osborne '20, Eduaniel Reinoso '21, Reily Scott '21, and Hiromi Takayama '21.