Special to Emmaus Patch By Chrissy Cilento, Emmaus High School Senior
The guys of Emmaus High School’s a cappella male ensemble Fermata Nowhere performed for more than just their regular crowd of parents and swooning girls on Saturday night, when the group made an appearance at Lehigh University’s Zoellner Arts Center, singing for hundreds of people.
Although Fermata has always been a local phenomenon and a highlight of EHS’s choral concerts, the group is now gaining more than just an Emmaus fan base. The boys dazzled the judges of the Bach Choir of Bethlehem’s “Bach-Appella” singing contest with their rendition of Van Morrison’s “Moondance” and were named the winners, beating out a number of high school and even college-level a cappella groups.
In honor of the group's winning performance, Fermata Nowhere was invited to sing in a gala concert on Saturday, Oct. 6 at Zoellner with the world-renowned a cappella group the Swingle Singers. The boys spent the day at Zoellner, watching with admiration as the Swingles did their tech rehearsal and listening carefully to the group’s advice on how to spruce up their songs in a master class.
After a dozen more run-throughs of their song and about a mile’s worth of nervous paces by Fermata Nowhere choral director Rita Cortez, the boys were ready to perform. They stepped onstage to the cat calls and screams of the audience, and after nailing their song were sent off with just as much enthusiasm.
All the members of Fermata agree that learning from and performing alongside the Swingle Singers was an unforgettable experience.
Junior Sawyer Long says: “I thought it was really neat that we got to interact with a Grammy Award-winning group because we’re just some kids from a high school they’ve never heard of, yet they treated us like professionals and gave us some really great advice. What they told us really helped when we performed that night and I know we’ll keep their advice in mind for our future performances too.”
Chrissy Cilento, a senior at Emmaus High School, plans to study journalism in college. She is a periodic contributor to Patch.