Singers bring the madness

Ivan Endelman, Reporter

The high school a cappella group Shir Madness released their album
“More Than Madness,” on Feb. 13 with a collection of nine songs.

Shir Madness is tightly knit and participates in activities such as their own Shabbaton together. Producing an album, though, was a new experience, which vocal music teacher and a capella instructor Aaron Dunn had been thinking about for years.

“I’ve been wanting to make recordings since I got here because I tried to make some recordings semester one of being here but didn’t have the resources to do so. It’s been three years in the making,” Dunn said. “The new experience brought new challenges, such as the new professional atmosphere and the demand to perform well on the first few takes.”

The album was funded by the JDS marketing and arts departments. Sound engineers were hired from the House of Musical Traditions, which brought in all the equipment necessary and recorded the songs in the theater. The recordings took about two hours, with each song being performed twice in order to choose the better version.

Junior, student conductor and tenor singer Ethan Kulp was satisfied with the way the album turned out.

“Practicing may sometimes be hard, but when we’re singing together, it’s all worth it,” Kulp said. “It’s just such a pure feeling.” The album includes Darkeinu, Pompeii, Lo Et Avoteinu, Wrecking Ball, Shir LaMa’alot, Ma’oz Tzur, Brother, Amen and Nachamu.

When listening to Shir Madness, students are connected to their Jewish identity. Freshman Jason Vinokur felt moved by the album, especially his favorite song, Ma’oz Tzur.

“I really enjoyed it. It reminded me of Jewish holidays at my synagogue, where we all come together to celebrate. I will definitely be on the
lookout for more albums,” Vinokur said.

The production of the first album was a stepping stone for the group, and they are looking to continue to produce songs and albums in the fu- ture, according to Dunn.

“It was something that Shir Madness had not done for a long time, so to be able to be at a musical level worthy of putting online was a really nice achievement for the group,” Dunn said.