August 24, 2010 at 11:58 AM
At the end of March, Oratory Prep School played host to "Bear Necessities—the all male, all suspenders a cappella singing group" from Brown University, whose mascot is a bear. The energetic group of eight men presented an hour long assembly for the student body at the all-boys Roman Catholic school in Summit and sang solos with six or seven men back up.
In a question and answer portion of the program, the college men told the audience of 260 students in grades 7 - 12 that their repertoire includes classic rock songs and some oldies. When they were asked to sing one audience member's favorite contemporary song, the explanation was clear that they didn't take requests.
Each song takes hours of rehearsal time to arrange and perfect the harmonies. As part of the presentation, they taught three willing volunteers from the audience how to make mouth noises to replicate percussion instruments. Seniors Teddy Henschel from Warren and Carl J. Banks of Watchung and freshman Joe Iacoviello of Madison learned that it was not as easy as it looked.
For the finale of the show, Oratory Prep's own a cappella chorus, directed by Mr. Thomas Boniello, asked the Brown University students to join them in a rendition of "Save the Last Dance for Me."