At the last school meeting, two students finally confirmed the rumors: Jockapella would become a reality. Amidst excited murmurs from the crowd, the students encouraged “all athletes who have a passion for singing” to join Choate’s newest a cappella group. The open invitation may be misleading, however, as Jockapella’s audition process is rumored to be quite selective. Although the leaders of the new a cappella group have refused to reveal specific details, reporters were able to glean an interview with Simone Biles ’19, the first Choate gymnast to make the cut. “[The audition] is designed to test if you’re both an athlete and a singer,” Biles explained. “I think the process is a bit different for everyone, depending on what sport you play, but I had to do a 100 meter sprint, 500 meter swim, my 2016 Rio Olympic floor routine, and sing a perfect rendition of ‘Girl On Fire’ by Alicia Keys.”
Michael Phelps ’18, another singer-athlete to have successfully passed the audition, was reportedly required to beat his 200-meter butterfly world record in swimming and belt out a rock version of “Build Me Up Buttercup” by The Foundations. Auditions are still underway; however, plans for the group’s debut in spring term have already been made. “Our first live performance is scheduled for school meeting in April,” Tom Brady ’17, one of the group’s leaders, said excitedly. “We’ll be singing Choate’s school song and performing our own dance routine. A pre-recorded version of the song will be available on iTunes, Spotify, and Soundcloud on the same day.”
The musical part divisions for this song were reportedly assigned to athletes by sport. Members of Choate’s Varsity Football team, for example, will all be soloing. Player Peyton Manning ’20 exclaimed, “I couldn’t be more excited. As part of one of the least visible athletic teams on campus, I think this is a great opportunity for us to really showcase our talents.” Other upcoming events Jockapella has planned include performing at Daily Grind, caroling at athletic competitions, and collaborating with Boar Pen for next year’s Deerfield Day. “I think the ultimate goal, though, is eventually recording and releasing our own album,” said Matt Ryan ’19.
Students’ reactions to the announcement have been mixed. Varsity tennis player Serena Williams ’18 commented, “Personally, I’m not going to try out since I don’t have the time. But I think it’s a great way to gather up all willing athletes and really bond over a mutual love for singing.” Derrick Rose ’17, a co-captain of the Boys’ Varsity Basketball team, was more critical of Jockapella. “Just leave the singing to actual singers,” he said dismissively. “I don’t need my teammates to pull a Troy Bolton and sing and dance in the middle of a game.” While other a cappella groups on campus appear outwardly indifferent to the news of Jockapella, inside sources reveal otherwise. “We’re definitely worried,” said an anonymous Maiyero. “We’re just feeling a bit threatened. I mean, who wouldn’t be? They could beat us up—and outsing us! Is there anything more horrifying?”
At press time, Jockapella singers were seen lip-trilling major scales while lifting in the gym in preparation for their performance.