Getting into Rhythm


©The Talon News | Sarah Crowder

A cappella group Remedy recorded an EP to released in May at Argyle High School in Argyle, Texas. (Sarah Crowder / The Talon News)

Sarah Crowder and Joseph Walsh (Headline Writer)

Press play.

Music floats out of a speaker.

A sweet melody of different voices complementing and harmonizing with each other. 

If you concentrate, you can pick out individual parts coming together, running underneath each other, to create a complex and rich piece of music.

Remedy, Argyle’s premier a capella group, recorded an album with four songs, set for release this spring.

“I hope that everyone listens to it, and that everyone takes something from it.” sophomore and Remedy member Kassidy Rosengren said. “I hope that we can make music that people can enjoy anytime, anywhere.”

Remedy is a relatively new face at the school, with only two years to their name.

“The whole focus of Remedy is to take these students and their talents and try to reach as many people as possible,” choir director Will Griswold said. “We started by just focusing on our school population and reaching out to the community – any event that we could be of service to help provide the entertainment and share hope through music. While we want to continue to do that, we also want to broaden the spectrum of people we’re reaching. The goal is to just share with as many people as possible and we feel like an album is something that can give us an opportunity to do that.”

The album will be available on Apple Music and Spotify, as well as music videos posted on YouTube to accompany it.

“The community will be able to hear what these kids do on a daily basis,” Griswold said.  “I wish everyone could watch all of our rehearsals and classes, but this is one way to take what we do and share it with everybody. You have immediate access to us as an ensemble and as a performing group on your phone, anytime you want to listen, pull it up on your computer wherever you’re at.”

Remedy’s growing popularity will open doors for the members to gain even more experience.

“We want to expand our opportunities to perform,” Griswold said. “There are some conferences around the country that we’d like to apply to perform at. This album will help us get more exposure and have a better shot at being selected for one of those conferences. There are also festivals both in the states and some international festivals that we’re interested in performing at in the future.”

Recording this album is also giving the students in Remedy something tangible to remember their high school experience with for years to come.

“I love it,” sophomore Remedy member Isabella Zindel said. “I think it’s awesome to be able to go back and look at this and say this is what I did when I was a sophomore and for other people to hear this.”

©The Talon News | Sarah Crowder
(From left to right): Michelle Haught, Sarahbeth Meraz, and Mattie Kelton sing “I’ll Be There for You”. (Sarah Crowder / The Talon News)

The album will consist of four covers: “I’ll Be There” by Jess Glynne, “Brother” by Kodaline, “Everglow” by Coldplay, and “Suit and Jacket” by Judah and the Lion.

“We did ‘Suit and Jacket’ at the International Championship of High School A Cappella (ICHSA) last year,” Rosengren said. “We decided to kind of tweak the arrangement and record the better version.”

The members of Remedy rehearsed the songs, written by two hired arrangers, separately and later put all the parts together during rehearsal before school.

“We refined them and tweaked things here and there,” Griswold said. “Trying to make them as professional and entertaining sounding as possible. Then we basically scheduled one full week of recording.”

Over the course of 40 hours, students came in two at a time, from vocal percussion to soloists, to record. They recorded small sections and often took four or five takes to ensure the best possible product.

“It’s such a cool thing to sit in front of a microphone and sing,” Rosengren said. “There are so many fun little tips and tricks that we learned and it’s just really exciting to go into a room and be like ‘Go to this measure and sing it this way. Now sing it that way. Breath there.’ It’s just really cool to experience that and say that I was a part of a recording process.”

This was the first time professionally recording for many in Remedy. The recording engineer working with the students taught and walked them through much of it.

“The technician that we worked with was amazing,” Zindel said. “He was so great and so understanding that we’ve never done that before. It was a nice experience to have if you want to do something like that when you’re older.”

The making of this album incorporated the skills that the members of Remedy already had, while also being a learning experience for everyone involved.  

“The recording process teaches you so much,” Rosengren said. “Not only about how to record things, but it also teaches you about how to be a better singer in general and how to blend with people.”

This has opened the eyes of the students to future possibilities in the music industry.

“Most of these students are just used to singing live with a choir, or in a musical, or at a church,” Griswold said. “This gig gives the opportunity to experience a little taste of what the music industry is like. People think you only make it in the music industry if you’re a famous singer. There are so many people working in the music industry who are recording and who are writing and producing and arranging and doing all these things that are not the one performer. It also gave them the idea that if music is something they love and want to take seriously, here’s another opportunity they can have after high school and college to pursue it.”

©The Talon News | Sarah Crowder
(From left to right): Amanda Cheatham, Michelle Haught, Sarahbeth Meraz harmonize together. (Sarah Crowder / The Talon News)

Music is a passion for many of the kids in Remedy. They put hours into the group on top of the time needed for their regular choir classes.

“Freshman year I joined it because all of my friends were joining it and I love to sing,” Zindel said. “I really just love the group dynamic we have and it’s a lot of fun to go and perform for people and get to watch the middle schoolers and elementary and intermediate kids watch us and be like ‘I want to do that!’. It’s a really big deal for me to be a part of that.”

Remedy was originally started as a way for students who aren’t in choir to appreciate and understand it more.

“We have choir and band, we have these musical outlets and groups that perform classical music,” Griswold said. “I wanted to provide an opportunity for good singing but with something a little more contemporary, a little more modern. So students who never listen to choir music can appreciate it. If you’re not in choir, you may not understand why we love choir music so much. If you’re not in choir, and you hear a song that you’ve heard on the radio and hear us perform it, you connect to that a little better.”

Remedy supplies students with new ways to grow in their musical abilities and allows them to experiment with things other than traditional choir literature.

“I wanted to give the students something that would give them a push to be better singers and better musicians,” Griswold said. “Something that would push them to have to work together even more and help them become independent musicians. I want them to leave high school and be able to have all these musical schools, whether it be piano playing, singing, arranging, composing, or theory. A group like this really stretches these students.”

The album will be edited, mixed, produced, and ready for release by May.

“We’re hoping to release by our spring concert, which is May 10,” Griswold said. “We don’t have a hard and fast date yet because we want to make sure that everything is perfect. We want to make sure it sounds the way we want it to and that the album art that is being provided by some of our art students at the high school is perfect and looks the way we want it to before we send it out there.”

The publicity from the album and the newfound skills that the process has given Remedy will help them in future competitions, including the International Championship of High School A Cappella, or ICHSA.

“We have ICSHA coming up in February,” sophomore Remedy member Jackson Barnes said. “Hopefully we can make it to quarterfinals, and semi-finals if we’re good enough, which will lead us to nationals up in New York City. That is the main goal right now along with growth and improvement.”

Besides competitions, Remedy has ambitions to record more in the future.

“I hope that this is the first of many albums we get to record,” Griswold said. “We’d like to hopefully record at least one song every year, maybe not a full album every year, maybe every other year. Even though this group is made up of high school students, we treat it like we’re a group of professional musicians working together to have this incredible musical experience so we think that this will open up all of these opportunities.”

This album is a culmination of this group’s hard work and dedication.

“We’re hoping to have an album release event in May,” Griswold said. “We’re hoping to broadcast that as much as possible, and we want as many people to come as possible. It’s going to be an awesome celebration of the whole project itself and where we’re heading going forward. We’re so grateful for the support from everyone, the teachers, administrators, community, and especially the parents who are always super flexible with schedules and let their kids keep pursuing their passion for music.”