MILLBURN, NJ - Yesterday evening, the Soulfege A Capella group celebrated a decade of performing at their annual Students Aid Vocal Education (SAVE).
Funds raised from the concert went to Music Unites, a non-profit that works to provide music education around the world. however, it was also a chance for the group to reflect back on all they had accomplished. Since the group started in 2008, there have been dozens of alumni from the program that have gone on to roles in music elsewhere.
The night began with a performance from the Paper Mill Playhouse Show Choir, singing as guests of Soulfege. After that Soulfege showcased their a capella [competitive] and liberale [non-competitve] groups.
The program was a mix of older and newer material. One of the most recent additions to the group's repertoire was an arrangement of the Oscar-winning song 'Shallow' from 'A Star Is Born.' One of the most moving songs of the evening came in the second act when Soulfege members performed a poignant version of Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah.'
For the tenth anniversary, Soulfege also played a video, in which current and former students spoke about the impact the program had on them.
For Soulfege president and Millburn senior Matthew Green, who spoke with TAPinto after the performance, being at the helm this year was an incredible responsibility, one that he cherished.
"It's incredible. I'm so honored to be able to lead this group of students," Green said. "They're all incredible, the talent is really all theirs. But it was so fulfilling to see a ton of alumni in the crowd. We had such a great audience tonight. It was filled and the crowd had so much energy, so it was just awesome to see it all come together, after a hard year of work."
Patty Hetherington was one of the parents who had seen it all come together. Hetherington's daughter Emma is graduating this year and spent the past four in Soulfege. Sitting in the audience last night for her daughter's final show, Hetherington noted how hard the kids worked to bring their vision to bear all year.
"These kids work so hard and they have such a passion," she said. "They are student-led, and for this evening to happen, and for all their performances to happen, it's a credit to them, to their passion, to the fire that they have for music, and to keep music going in Millburn."
After the show was over, alumni and current students embraced and spent time catching up. Green noted that a lot of the songs are carried over from previous years, with some newer track sprinkled in. And as he leaves Millburn to go off to college, he had one thing to say to all the members of the group.
"My message would just be just to enjoy every minute because you have no clue how fast you're going," he said. "I still feel like a freshman despite all my years [here], so just cherish it and enjoy it every chance you get, because we're so fortunate to be able to do this."