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Sidwell Friends School's Student Newspaper Since 1974


Sidwell Friends School's Student Newspaper Since 1974


Sidwell Friends School's Student Newspaper Since 1974


Yale A Cappella Groups Perform at Sidwell


On Jan. 11 and 12, Sidwell welcomed two a cappella groups from Yale University called “Proof of the Pudding” and “The New Blue.” The performances featured Sidwell alumni Sofia Gaviria ’23 and Sydney Benson ’20. 

Upper School Choral Music Teacher Arts Department Head Sarah Markovits organized the event. Markovits explained how college a cappella groups from all over the country request to perform at Sidwell. She typically limits these invitations to college groups featuring Sidwell alumni. 

Markovits enjoys welcoming alumni because she wants “current students [to] feel comfortable asking questions about singing and college to older students who have gone through the same Sidwell experience.”

Gaviria performed in the “Proof of the Pudding” a cappella group, and she shared how her love for music began in high school. Gaviria was an active member of the Upper School Chorus, and in her junior and senior years, she performed with the a cappella group “Passing Notes.” She loved the community, which motivated her to continue singing in college.   

“Proof of the Pudding” is the second-oldest treble voice undergraduate a cappella group at the college. In 1975, the group was established after women were first allowed admission to Yale. The name “Proof of the Pudding” was taken from Miguel de Cervantes’ “Don Quixote”: “The proof of the pudding is in the tasting.” 

Due to Yale’s predominantly male environment at the group’s inception, the founding members of “Proof of the Pudding” faced challenges establishing themselves as accomplished musicians. The name “Proof of the Pudding” encouraged people to remain unbiased until hearing the group perform for them. The dedication and musical talent set a high standard for “Proof of the Pudding” and facilitated over 45 years of success. 

Gaviria’s favorite song that “Proof of the Pudding” performed is “The Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.” She describes the song as having a “jazzy vibe” and an upbeat tempo. Gaviria also enjoyed her solo in their song “Cry” and the song’s unique melody and lyrics.

Gaviria recommended that Sidwell students who are considering participating in the chorus should take advantage of the opportunities Sidwell provides in the arts. She regrets not being more involved in the musical projects during her high school experience.  

Sophomores Lucy Verma and Naomi Sedwick are current members of the Upper School Chamber Chorus. Verma said that her motivation to sing originates from her personal life. She expresses that music is “associated with [her] memories, whether it be festive songs like Christmas, or celebratory moments like birthdays.” 

Verma’s favorite songs she has sung with the chorus are George Handel’s “Zadok the Priest” and Mykola Leontovych’s “Carol of the Bells.” She mentions that the songs were challenging for all members of the chorus, and it pushed them beyond their comfort zones. The songs also reminded her of the holidays, which she cherishes since she loves to spend time with her family and friends.  

Sedwick has sung opera competitively for five years. and she is motivated and dedicated to her hobby because of her progress as a singer. She believes that the errors and mistakes she has made inspires her “to improve and put forth more effort towards [her] passion.” Sedwick enjoys sharing and practicing her passion with Sidwell students and peers. 

Her favorite song she has sung with the chorus is the Hanukkah tune  “S’vivon” because of its lively tempo and melody. The song is written in Hebrew and Yiddish, and she explains that most singers in the chorus have fun singing in a language other than English. She finds that chorus is most enjoyable when everyone is having fun while putting forth their best effort. Students enjoyed the Yale acapella performances and many, like Sedwick, are excited to continue singing in college.

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About the Contributor
Lilah Baez ’26
Lilah Baez ’26, News Editor
Lilah Baez is currently a News Editor for Horizon. Prior to this, she worked as a Staff Writer for the newspaper.
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