The Student News Site of Taipei American School




Australian a cappella group The Idea of North visits Taipei American School

The Idea of North performs a song with TAS choir students. [Ian.H/The Blue & Gold]

From Aug. 21-23, Australia based a cappella group, The Idea of North, visited Taipei American School. The group was founded back in 1993 by Nick Begbie (tenor), Meg Corson (alto), Trish Delaney-Brown (soprano) and Andrew Piper (bass), all of whom were former students at the Canberra School of Music. However, since then, new members have been added to the group, including Luke Thompson (bass), Naomi Crellin (alto), Kai Kitamura (vocal percussionist), Emma Rule (soprano), and Nick Begbie (tenor). Today, they are one of the most well regarded a cappella quintet groups in Australia, performing numerous styles of jazz and pop.
During their time at TAS, they worked with middle school and Upper School choir students. The a cappella group began its lessons with different exercises, several of which were new to TAS choir students. “They showed us how to make our voices have more twang or more breath and we could blend more based on what the people around us were doing with their voices,” Madeline McCarthy (‘21) said.
On the last day of their stay, on Aug. 23, from 6:30-8 p.m., the a cappella group performed numerous selections at a Music-Department-organized concert. The group performed transcriptions and arrangements done by their music director, Naomi Crelin. They also debuted an original song by Luke Thompson, called “Beyond the City,” which was their first time performing the song to an international audience. During one of the songs, an audience member was also invited to go on stage as the “conductor”  to stop and start each member from singing. This allowed audience members to hear the different vocal parts individually. 
In other songs, audience members were invited to clap and sing along, which made the overall performance more entertaining. “I loved how the performance was very interactive, and how they sprinkled some humor into their songs,” Annie Cho (‘20) said. “When I saw them mak[ing] instrument sounds with their mouth[s], I was in awe.” The TAS choir students from middle school and Upper School joined them in the beginning, performing “Fragile” and “Since You Went Away,” and rejoined them again to perform a unique arrangement of Adele’s “Hello.” 
After the performance, Modern Music Master (Tri-M) Honor Society members stationed at tables near the side entrance, to sell CD and digital files of The Idea of North’s albums. The group’s members sat along another table to sign autographs.
From the long line of people that lined up for autographs, to the long claps and loud cheers after each song was performed, the concert seemed well-received by the TAS community. “During the actual concert, I was laughing and smiling the entire way through,” choir student Victor Kao (’21) said.

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