North A Capella Qualifies for ICHSA Midwest Semifinals


North A Capella celebrates after their second place win at Quarterfinals on Feb. 7, allowing them to move on Semifinals on March 14. “Honestly, we gave everything we had to the performance. In my opinion, if you don’t walk off a stage with a high, then you haven’t truly performed,” said Mueller.

Aiden Petrofsky, Podcast Personality

On Friday, Feb. 7,  North’s a capella group, Valholla, earned second place in the ICHSA Midwest Quarterfinals at Washington University’s 560 Music Center in downtown Saint Louis; The group will move on to compete in the Midwest Semifinals in Centerville, Ohio on March 14. Valholla performs “Burn The House Down” by AJR, “Speechless” by Dan and Shay and “Electric Love” by Børns; with junior Sarah Mueller, freshman Lauren Weber and senior Katie McWard as soloists.

“We really didn’t think we were going to come this far …The last time we placed was my freshman year, and we got third. The competition was slightly less difficult this year, [and we were also] confident when we were performing,” said senior Sarah Schenk.

As well as their confidence, the group also had energy, which is what Mueller believes is part of  what led to their victory.

“I feel like our energy was really phenomenal. We were like one organism, feeding off of the anxiety and excitement of it all,” said Mueller.

The excitement and anticipation rose to a climax, as Valholla waited to hear their place among the seven other groups.

“There are no words that could possibly describe how it felt to stand on that stage – squeezing each other’s hands to death, feeling the hope and doubt all at once – all together. When we got second, everything was a loud blur. All of a sudden, people were screaming and jumping and crying and feeling all at once. It was like euphoria,” said Mueller. 

There was one singer who particularly stood out to Mueller due to the amount of energy and passion he expressed during their award winning performance.

“I think that Carlson Fajardo is the most enigmatic expressionist in the entire group. There is nothing like performing with him because he pours himself into the music and the result is stunning,” said Mueller. 

Freshman Sean Crawford had a similar opinion of Fajardo.

“His energy and interactions with the audience was one of, if not the best out of the group,” said Crawford.

To prepare for semifinals, Crawford plans to improve upon some parts in his act. 

“I want to improve my choreography and get to know more people,” said Crawford.

In addition, Mueller wishes to work on improving pitch for the next competition.

“I do feel like we could’ve improved on our pitch. Pitch is one of the things that can fluctuate when confronted with a multitude of energy – and we were pumped,” said Mueller.

Because the competition is out-of-state and requires travel, it will be a new and unique experience for Valholla.

“I’m really excited to drive down [to Ohio, and for] all of us to be together. Mr. Reeves told us that the speakers and the sound system are really high end, and [that] there is a bigger theater. [Also,] I’ve been doing this for four years and this is my last performance, and I’m really excited to do it in a new place,” said Schenk.