South Milwaukee Students to Release Professional a Cappella Album

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I love this! From Lee Stovall, vocal music director …

Delta V and The PopRockets, two a cappella groups at South Milwaukee High School, are thrilled to announce the release of Keep Myself. Officially dropping on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, and Google Play on November 20th, it will be the first professionally produced high school a cappella album from the state of Wisconsin. Students recorded the album at the school, and had it edited, mixed, and mastered by professionals. Grammy award-winner Ed Boyer, who mixed this album and has mixed Pentatonix, Glee, and Pitch Perfect  says, “It is fun to mix something so expressive.” The album is also mastered by Dave Sperandio, who has mastered thousands of a cappella albums over the past 20 years.  “I can truly feel the message and emotion coming through!” Sperandio says.

Exploring topics of high school life, hope, regret, and identity, Keep Myself earns its title from the introductory song, based off a line of Nine Inch Nails’s “Hurt.” The 8 song album embeds the idea and emotion of “I would keep myself, I would find a way” through covers of popular songs, sometimes imagined in different ways. The process of making the album began by students suggesting lyrics that fit the theme, choosing songs, and then arranging them in the studio one singer at a time. “It was an amazing experience to record music with my friends that we could all relate to” says current senior Alexa Wilhelm, who plans on going into music production as a career. This process was part of her inspiration to continue with music. Students also developed the album art and shot and edited a music video to accompany the album prior to its release.

In 2013-2014, The PopRockets and Delta V began as extra curricular a cappella groups at South Milwaukee High School. Inspired by established groups from Port Washington, and GET High School in western Wisconsin, they have competed and performed at the regional and national level. Wisconsin a cappella has now grown to local districts such as Oak Creek, Grafton, and Brookfield, and there is even an a cappella summer camp at UW-Parkside called “A Cappella University.” This release marks itself as a foray into the recorded realm, as it is the first full length album available on all major digital platforms from its region.

Keep Myself would not be possible without up-and-coming a cappella professionals Luke Dutelle and Justin Crichfield, who helped with recording and editing, respectively. A student edit crew also worked extensively on the project, and the hardware and software was provided by SM Legacy and the School District of South Milwaukee. Administrators Blaise Paul, Beth Kaminski, and Ante Udovicic, as well as secretary Denise Roszak made the finances and paperwork for this album happen.

Check out the promo video.


Filed under South Milwaukee

3 responses to “South Milwaukee Students to Release Professional a Cappella Album

  1. June Marie Ruszczynski

    Absolutely wonderful! The students should be so proud of this accomplishment, as should all their advisors and support people. Again, I am grateful to have an involved Mayor who keeps us informed of the great things happening in our City.

  2. Nels Monson

    That’s a great accomplishment! But didn’t SMHS a cappella release an actual Christmas album in 1974?

  3. Nik

    was it released as a physical CD or only digital?

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