WRITTEN BY EPIC MARKETING INTERN, MYKENAH ANDERSON '26
The Benilde-St. Margaret’s Red Knotes are coming up on the International Championship of High School A Cappella (ICHSA), and they couldn’t be more excited. The competition takes place on Saturday, Feb. 3, at Gale-Ettrick-Treampelau High School in Galesville, WI. The Red Knotes are looking forward to the chance to perform in the quarterfinals and have been hard at work arranging pieces, both as a group and as soloists.
The Red Knotes will have the opportunity to meet other a cappella groups at ICHSA, an international competition with over 230 different a capella groups performing. The top two teams to come out of quarterfinals will go on to regionals in Milwaukee. Last year, the Red Knotes made school history by placing third in the quarter-finals. Anya Seppala ‘26 shared, “ICHSA is the Red Knotes' biggest competition of the year and we prepare for it from the start of the year until the competition date. Last year we got third place and the Best Vocal Soloist Award!” It did not come easy for this group, but they have put their blood, sweat, and tears into their work, and it has paid off.
In preparing for their competition, the Red Knotes have taken time to compose their choreography and decide on a set that includes “Feeling Good” by Michael Buble. Micheal McDonald ‘24 arranged “Feeling Good,” and Josie Turk ‘24 put together the choreography. The Red Knotes have arranged two other pieces in addition to three soloists performing, including Audrey Taylor ‘24, Al Brown ‘25, and Olivia Gorton ‘24. The Red Kntoes have put in a lot of time practicing including early mornings in the weeks leading up to the competition. They held a dress rehearsal on Thursday, Feb. 1, two days before the competition to prepare their stage presence and to see what they needed to practice more before this weekend. During these practices, they are not only practicing their set and the accompanying choreography but their performance and dynamics as well.
The Red Knotes are enthusiastic about competing but since this is the only time that they compete, this competition could bring their season to a close. “You either make it or you don't. Which is why I'm a little nervous. But aside from all of that, it's something that gives me chills every time I hear a perfect harmony. I love a capella and regardless of how we do, I hope to have fun,” shared Nico Peterson ‘26. Many Red Knotes are looking forward to performing this weekend and have shared that it is more than the competition itself but the experience they will receive through the entire process. Audrey Taylor ‘24 said, “I’m most excited to watch the other groups perform. It’s so entertaining and I recommend people come watch who have never seen a capella before.” During the competition, they have the opportunity to gain new relationships, learn new skills, and see talented a cappella groups perform. Needless to say, the Red Knights are delighted to have the opportunity to perform at the ICHSA.
The Red Knotes have been preparing tremendously for their performance and are excited about this unique opportunity, and the experiences they will gain through this process. They have prepared for this since the beginning of the year, and are ready to showcase their song set and their soloists. Good luck Red Knotes!
More information and tickets can be found on the Varsity Vocals ICHSA website.
Update: Monday, Feb. 5
The Red Knotes placed 4th in the competition. Michael McDonald ‘24 received two individual awards, Best Vocal Percussion and Best Song Arrangement.