The name of a CJ a cappella group may have changed, but the enthusiasm and determination has not.
Students recently helped rename the group Age V to Phoenix.
"The new name really means a fresh start," shared Madeline Brown '13, director of Phoenix. "The CJ community is going to see new things out of the group this year. A phoenix is a symbol of life and new beginnings. The students came up with the name themselves and I think it suits them perfectly."
"I think that changing the name was a great idea," said Phoenix member Maggie Butler '19. "I love the fact that we are creating a new identity for ourselves."
Phoenix members continue to practice and perform alongside Vega. Five seniors who were in Vega last year graduated, but Vega member Sean Stewart '16 said that doesn't mean it's a rebuilding year.
"Vega is ready to come out swinging this year," Stewart emphasized. "We're putting in hard work and are ready to give it our all at competition."
"I love to see how much ownership and initiative the students take in the group," reflected Bryan Sharpe, director of Vega. "With each student being so invested in what we're doing, it makes my job as director really exciting and creates an environment of collaborative creativity."
Both groups are selective, with Vega having eight members and Phoenix with 15 members this year. Both groups plan to participate in competitions, including the Kettering National A Cappella Festival on November 13 and 14, 2015. More than 50 groups from six states are scheduled to perform at the festival, which will also include classes, clinics with industry professionals and showcase performances. Vega has also previously performed in the International Competition of High School A Cappella (ICHSA.)
"My personal favorite performance with Vega has to be our performance at ICHSA Nationals my sophomore year," Stewart shared. "It was such an awesome opportunity to compete at such a high level, especially as a sophomore. It's also my favorite because that performance earned us second place in the entire nation."
"Over the past few years, Vega has been on the forefront of high school a cappella groups in the country," said Sharpe. "With consistent success in competitions and recognition with their recording projects on the national level, Vega takes pride in helping to build the reputation of CJ's strong performing arts department and represent CJ well with everything we do."
Brown added, "Phoenix is coming into its own as an excellent a cappella group and I love being a part of the process."
One song Phoenix members are currently rehearsing is "Good To Be Alive" by Andy Grammer.
"This is the first song we are doing since the Fall Concert, and after all of the positive feedback we got from the community, we sound more unified," shared Butler. "I cannot wait for everybody to hear it!
"Keep an eye out because we will be doing big things," Brown affirmed. "Phoenix has taken on new life and we are on fire!"
You can learn more about CJ's a cappella groups here.