Serving Youth with Harmony: HALO at the 5th Annual A Capella Workshop

Yesterday, HALO had the awesome privilege of serving as guest clinicians at Loudoun County’s 5th annual A Capella Workshop, where middle-school students who love to sing worked hard to present a concert of songs– 2 songs for the boys, 2 songs for the girls, and one barbershop medley hit: Lida Rose/Dream of Now arranged by Larry Wright. We learned the music for the girls, and our job was to direct them by helping them solidify their parts, top it off with some presentation, and put it all together for a show– in ONE day! There was maybe a total of 8 hours of sleep among the 4 of us, and we weren’t sure how we were going to do keeping up with their bushy-tailed spunk for a full day AND pull off a set, but let me tell you… these kids were so incredible, sweet, delightful and inspiring that we enjoyed every minute.

The day started with group warm-ups by the amazing John-David Maybury, before the boys and the girls split up to start sectionals. At this point, we’re only 75 cents of a HALO dollar, because Jasmine had to catch a red-eye that morning from Texas to get to us! So of the roughly…200+ kids registered for this program? I’d say about 2/3 of them were the girls in our charge. Wow. But before we knew it, we were doing choreo to “Dream of Now,” and body rhythm to a Deke Sharon arrangement of the hit song, “Royals.” They learned a little Motown flavor, too, singing Marsha Zwicker’s arrangement of “One Fine Day,” a nice oldie to pair with the boys’ rendition of “Sweet Caroline.”

By the time  showtime rolled around at 4, we had been up since 6am and were praying for a miracle boost of energy to sing a set for the first part of the show after LoCo 4, a guy’s quartet from Loudoun County, gave a great opening set. The girls we’d worked and bonded with gave us SO MUCH LOVE!! And when we sang our own Deke Sharon arrangement and favorite show closer, “Halo,” they went totally wild– and true to their generation, waved their iphones for lighters. We’ve never felt so much like rock stars.

Best gig ever.


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