The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

The Oracle

The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

The Oracle

The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

The Oracle

Find Stories and More:

Pitch perfect performer

Yang, South vocalist, hits the right notes
Maia Weissman
Symphonic sounds: Yang sings with his perfect pitch, rehearsing in the practice room. He is in many choir groups at South, such as Master Singers, Fusion, Chamber Singers, and Scat That.

As the notes harmonize in South’s Choral program, many voices can be heard, but one singer stands out among the rest. Senior Andrew Yang’s four years in South’s choral program have been shaped by his unique ability: perfect pitch.

Perfect pitch, also known as absolute pitch, is the ability of a human to sing any pitch without referencing the note, Choral Director Robert Shellard said. Only one in 10,000 people have this ability; Yang’s unique skill allowed him to excel in choir, Shellard said. His ability has allowed him to be an asset in the unlikeliest moments, Shellard said.

“I needed a pitch as we were doing a quick rehearsal in Junior Titans Acapella,” Shellard said. “I started to walk over the piano to play [a note] for myself and I heard [Yang] from the back of the room [singing].”

Yang has been involved in several choral groups since freshman year. As a sophomore, he joined Chamber Singers; as a junior, he joined Fusion; and this year, he joined Scat That. 

Ever since elementary school, Yang has been exposed to choir and its counterparts. Although he is leaving South this year, he says his experiences in choir have made his high school experience much more enjoyable.

“My favorite part of choir would be the community that I’ve met,” Yang said. “Choir is a great way for people to unify. Even if we are divided for some other reason, music is something that unifies us regardless of nationality, ethnicity, age, and beliefs.”

Yang experiences his perfect pitch even through every day scenarios. 

“Having perfect pitch is both a blessing and a curse at times,” Yang said. “Whenever I hear something like a glass clinking, I tend to hear musical notes. I always have to find the note once it’s played.”

Although Yang has had difficulties with his perfect pitch, his presence as the pitch pipe is a cornerstone in ensembles, Shellard said. A pitch pipe is a tool that is used to play a pitch, which is used in choral groups to find a starting note, Shellard explained, and Yang has assumed this role, along with assisting the other singers. 

“If [Yang] is singing throughout a piece, he’s able to keep all of the rest of the group in tune because he knows where the top tonal center is,” Shellard said. “We can all tune to that, so he becomes a cornerstone of our ensemble.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

The Oracle intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks, or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and must be approved by a moderator to ensure that they meet these standards. The Oracle does not allow anonymous comments, and The Oracle requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
All The Oracle Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *