Dissonance Extends to ICCA: a Showcase

Crowding outside the Pilling chapel doors, an eclectic collection of students, a few parents and locals, and President White and his wife eagerly waited to see the groups of the hour to the tune of sound-checking.

Once the doors finally parted, the crowd was let in to find the chairs were facing the doors as opposed to away from them like they usually are. There were two rows on the side, while there were four rows in the center. From where the writer was sitting, it was as if Pilling was wider than ever before.

First to take the stage was Millikin’s Se7en. They had just come back from tour to ask the musical question, “Is there more mics?” Juniors John Sauer and Justin Corp had the two mics dropping beats and bass as the rest of the group to sweetly serenade the room in an all-new set.

There were even solo acts that breathed life into cover songs. As Jaylen Rick strummed her uke, she reignited emotional catharsis in being forgotten and reminiscing a time where being loved was possible. When Friend was joined with Quinn Hensley to sing Green Day’s “Ordinary World,” they took a nasally whiny drone and made it sound as beautiful as songbirds.

Dissonance would appear periodically to showcase their award-winning sets for all to see and listen. The sound electrified the room to its core. All their songs contained heartwarming dissonant harmonies that sent shivers down the spine.

They moved in fluent animation, plastered all over their body language and their faces. In the “Young and Beautiful” part of the mash-up for their first ICCA set, Olivia Tharpe’s and Andy Deleon’s eyes just shimmered and sparkled, expressing love and admiration.

Near the end of the show, Physical Graffiti made their way front and center. They held their positions for about a minute, giving the audience enough time to take stellar shots of choice poses.

To the writer’s surprise, a jazzy sound exploded from the speakers. They immediately snap out of their mannequin state, and start lindy hopping. Then the beat dropped. Everyone dug into the bass, making the earth tremble. They stretch their legs out toward the audience, and for a moment, the writer had second thoughts about being in the front row in fear the action would’ve gotten a little too close to her face. Thankfully, it was close but never a cigar, earning some well-deserved standing ovations.

“Don’t we love Physical Graffiti?” Deleon (the MC for the night) asked as PG left the stage.

“Yes, we do,” answers a voice in the crowd, echoing the writer’s thoughts verbatim.

Deleon then took the time to thank the audience for buying tickets to that night’s showcase. Normally it wouldn’t cost a cent to see Dissonance strut their stuff; however, with ICCA Semi-Finals around the corner, it would be a good time to try and raise some money to help the group go farther than ever.

With ACDA (the American Choral Directors Association)’s help, Dissonance is able to promote themselves the way they are. They help in promotion, giving direction to choreography, and give away student tickets to see the choir perform in the semi-finals. But there’s only so much they can do, and one way to help them out in return is through school fundraising events such as the showcase.

The showcase-ticket money is going toward paying for expenses such as the choreographer, the music-arrangers, and money to travel to New York. As Deleon mentioned, when reaching a national level, it takes a lot to get there.

And judging by the performances made that night, that talent and hard work can and will eventually pay off. Come what may, these individuals can always come on top in this writer’s book. As long as they sing and spread the word, Dissonance can extend to just about anywhere.