The Intonations crescendo


Avery Arnold

Concentrated Kunkel: Pointing out a pitch, junior Rachel Kunkel leads The Intonations at rehearsal. The new choir group is all-inclusive, requiring no auditions or previous choir experience.

Sloane Shabelman, co-a&e editor

One year ago, juniors Lila Becker, Rachel Kunkel, and Jubilee Chen walked along the track in P.E., discussing their experiences with choir. All three felt frustrated by the lack of opportunities available to them as underclassmen, and they decided they wanted to make a change.

Nearly a full year later, the girls beamed with pride after the new choir club they co-founded, The Intonations, completed their very first performance at the fall concert on Nov. 3, Chen said.

“We wanted to broaden GBS choirs and allow more people who had the desire to sing to be in [a choir] group,” Chen explained. “This is a non-audition, all inclusive club. Even if you’re not in choir you can join, which allows people who can’t fit choir into their school to still be able to have places [to sing].”

In fact, if it weren’t for The Intonations, which meets every Thursday after school, junior Belle Foster would not have been able to sing at South. Foster was a part of choir her freshman year, but had to drop the class due to her schedule. She is grateful that The Intonations provides her the opportunity to sing again in a relaxed, enjoyable environment.

“[The Intonations] is really open and there’s no judgment,” Foster said. “Whether you have been doing choir for eight years or you haven’t even started choir, everybody’s welcome.”

Freshman Naomi Lewis also appreciates the inclusive and stress-free environment of The Intonations.

“It’s really laid back,” Lewis said. “All the people are so nice and it’s just an easy time [where] you have fun with your friends.”

The Intonations is almost completely student-run, another unique part of the club compared to other choir groups at South, Becker explained.

“[My favorite part is] directing and leading others because I’ve never really done that in a choral setting,” Becker said.

Robert Shellard, co-sponsor of The Intonations, said he is proud of all the work the three girls put into creating this group.

“I’m excited about [the club],” Shellard said. “This is kind of [Becker, Chen, and Kunkel’s] brainchild and now [they will] see it through and build it to a place where it can be passed onto future generations.”

Watching everything come together has been so rewarding, Kunkel said. Every time she hears the group sing she is reminded of how far her and her friends have come.

“The other day I could hear everybody singing together and I was like, ‘Dang, that sounds really, really good,’” Kunkel said. “Those have been some of my favorite moments: hearing everything piece together and realizing [how well] this is working out.”         

Aahil Jiwani contributed to this story