La Plata’s A Cappella group “Unplugged” has been busy the past two weeks. The week of January 27, they hosted La Plata’s Coffee House, an event where Unplugged members and students come to sing and perform; they mostly perform acoustic song for the La Plata High School community. Then, the next week, on February 4th, they turned around and competed in the ICHSA Mid-Atlantic Quarterfinal, a national A Cappella competition.
The Coffee House, a La Plata tradition for the past seven years, is a place where students, parents and other visitors alike can watch performances from La Plata’s own A Cappella group, Unplugged. For most students, it is one of the most looked forward to things in the school year. The Coffee House was founded by Mrs. Childers back in 2010 to help her Unplugged kids have a place to show the La Plata students how they have grown musically. Since it was first introduced, it has been a good show for everyone to sit and enjoy.
With great people and great music, the Coffee House was no different this year. With a total of thirteen performances, the show had something for everyone there. The commons area that night was filled with Pop and Hip-Hop inspired songs and sounds. Performances included those by Dillon Rich, Halle Tetrault, Victoria Kayes, Eyana Dixon, Bailey Latimer, Alyssa Burke, Alia Kadir, The Ø.X. Tammy Gardner, Bella Aron and Thomas Still. There were also two performances by La Plata’s own Unplugged and a special performance by Unplugged and La Plata Alumni.
Throughout the night, Mr. Childers and some of his LSN students were selling coffee, tea, cookies, and other treats to donate to the humane society. This not only gave students and visitors an opportunity to enjoy good food, but it also ensured that their money was going into good hands to help an animal in need.
Coffee house is a great experience for both Unplugged and La Plata musicians. However, their experiences are very different. For the novice musicians, it helps them gain confidence and exposure for their future musical endeavors; for Unplugged, it helps them hone their skills for competitions, such as the ICHSA Mid-Atlantic Quarterfinal.
The La Plata Unplugged does many competitions throughout the year, and after each one, they go further and further. While Coffee House was like a practice run for Unplugged, February 4th was the real thing, where they competed in the ICHSA Mid-Atlantic Quarterfinal.
The ICHSA Mid-Atlantic Quarterfinal this year was hosted at La Plata High School. As eight different schools throughout the Maryland area competed, and with space in the auditorium limited, tickets were sold for a limited time. They were sold in two varieties: general for $20.00 and students with ID for $15.00. Show time began at 7:00 p.m. and ended at 10:00 p.m.
ICHSA was a great moment for students and singers to be a part of something together. Edwin Santos, a singer and sophomore at La Plata High school, said that ICHSA was “exciting and nerve racking , meeting and seeing other groups and competing.” This type of reaction was not limited to the singers; students and other visitors scattered across the auditorium, such as Joshua Roberts, were shocked and awed at how talented all the groups were, especially La Plata. “Surprised that La Plata didn’t get first,” Roberts said looking back on it. Even though Unplugged didn’t get first place, they still move on to the next stage ready to face any challenge.