Singing with only the sound of their voice as main vocals and instruments, Premiere and Final Cut (PFC) competed at the International Championship of High School A Cappella (ICHSA) Saturday, March 7.
PFC has competed in the ICHSA multiple times, 2011 which was there first year competing and the year they became champions. They also competed in 2012, 2013, and 2014, but their goal wasn’t just to win each time.
“Anytime that we go into contests like this we understand that there are five judges that each have their own opinions,” choir director Matt Woodward said. “So our goal always is to go up and do our best and serve the music and the audience as best [as] we possibly can and we did. The audience loved us, the kids loved preforming these songs, [so] we have no regrets about [our performance].”
Although the group knows that the judges will have their different opinions, it is still a nerve wrecking experience.
“The competition side of things its tough when you’ve got people with different musical backgrounds who are judging you,” Woodward said. “Some [judges will] see things the way that we do and others don’t. That’s just how it worked out this year and that’s how it worked for [the] last two years also, but for right now we are extremely thrilled to maintain status as a top group in Texas.”
Wanting to give the audience and the judges a performance that they’ll enjoy, PFC sang with all their passion and skill during their performance, including Ana Leal who had bronchitis during her solo performance of Rather Be by Clean Bandit.
“[I] thought they rocked it,” student teacher Ms. Amanda Pawelek said. “I only spent one full day with [PFC] prior to the concert so just watching everybody else [compete] with them [that day], I thought they were exemplary. [PFC] truly did make me feel something.”
Everyone thinks differently about a performance, but what matters most is when the members love their performance.
“I think the best moment in our performance would be at the end of Try (performed by [junior] Sarah Gokelman) when Sarah looks at us and we all give her a reassuring smile,” senior Casey Holloway-Harris said. “You could just feel the support in the air and at the moment we couldn’t care less what we placed since we knew that no matter what we had this amazing family.”
In the end PFC earned second place, making them ineligible to move to the next round. However, they never showed any sign of disappointment they just smiled and accepted their award and cheered on the first place winners, Fusion.