VoiceMale hangs it up

VoiceMale’s seniors reflect on high school choir careers

For VoiceMale’s 11 seniors, A Capella night on Feb. 24 marked one of the final times the ensemble would assemble together.

At the concert, the group performed a total of five numbers, dialing up notable renditions of Avicii’s “Hey Brother” and Queen’s “Crazy Little Thing Called Love.” 

Key of She, Community’s female A Cappella ensemble, and Illinois State’s Acafellaz were called upon to take the stage on performance night — a show rounded out with a slew of Senior Spotlight solos and duets.

The Senior Spotlights offered six of VoiceMale’s 2022 graduates — Ian Kuhlman, Alex Martin, Tim Schill, Andrew Short, Micah Thompson and Jordan Vogel  — a stage to showcase their individual talents. 

For Short, a three-year member of VoiceMale, the Spotlight was extra special, allowing him to perform a duet with Ivy Goekner, a senior member of Key of She. 

“It was really fun,” Short said of the opportunity to sing “BFF” from the SpongeBob SquarePants musical alongside Goekner.

“She’s one of my best friends,” Short said. “We picked a song that we thought was kind of similar to our friendship.”

Friendship is the link that connects the members of the choir program and VoiceMale’s seniors — a group rounded out by members Shawn Sarmiento, Zach Bacon, Noah Beer, Garen Schmittner and Stephen Gray.

That friendship enabled the members of VoiceMail to laugh off moments during rehearsals where the singers kicked right instead of left, kicking each practicing during “Ring of Fire’s” kickline. Or when Killian Boyd (23) didn’t know “which hand was right.” 

Despite this being the first actual full year of VoiceMail, there is a “family aspect” to the choir program, Short said.  

Kuhlman’s “Choir Shoes,” which he has wore for every VoiceMale performance. (Photo Courtesy of: Ian Kuhlman)

“It is sentimental for me,” Short said. “This year has been a lot of fun. We just have a great group.” 

Kuhlman, a three-year member of VoiceMale, is sentimental too, one of his biggest hang-ups is having to leave some traditions behind, like his “choir shoes.” 

“It’s the last time I get to wear my old white converse for VoiceMale,” Kuhlman said, “I’m definitely very sad about that.”

Kuhlman isn’t the only one on the line with a special pair of choir shoes. Short also has a pair dedicated only for A Capella night. 

“I bought a pair of gray Vans for A Capella night, and I’ve worn them for all three [performances],” Short said. 

Wrapping up their A Capella night performance, Key of She and VoiceMale joined onstage for a final number, ending the night with a standing ovation from the crowd. 

If VoiceMale won’t stop ringing in your ears, you can pick up their next performance during Jazz Night — Friday, May 6 in the auditorium.