Arapahoe’s New Acapella Club


Tony Mai, Reporter

When you hear “acapella,” what do you think about? Perhaps it is the stereotypical barbershop quartet or maybe it is the more mainstream Pentatonix? Regardless of your experience with acapella, Charles Sawyer, business teacher, and Kirk Schjodt, choir director, are changing up the scene.

The acapella club is one of the few cubs that was formed by a staff member rather than a student. Sawyer goes into detail about how he came up with the idea for the club.

“A couple years ago I had a student come to me, one of my swimmers when I was a swim coach, ask if I’d be interested in starting an acapella group. An all-male acapella group. That’s what got the idea in my head,” Sawyer said.

Sawyer was previously in his own acapella group in college, but unfortunately, he was not able to bring that here, even after the student had planted the idea in his head. However, Sawyer took the window of opportunity this year and went to Schjodt to get the club running. The formation of this club would not be possible without the collaboration of Schjodt.

“Mr. Sawyer get’s all of the credit for having this idea but, he put it on my radar. I was excited about it… really anything that serves up interest in singing is something that gets my attention,” Schjodt said.

Sawyer said that he started the club “ … because it’s a great opportunity for students. We saw a need there for students to have some fun outside of school and it’s something that’s a little bit different.”


The club itself does what we all expect them to do: they sing! However, with the surprising turnout of their first meeting, their approach towards acapella with this large of a group is vital. Although Sawyer is a business department teacher, Schjodt has been able to share his experience with him so that things go smoothly during rehearsals. During club hours, Schjodt and Sawyer will primarily be working with the students to piece together the content they already have to create something whole.

To speed up the learning process, Schjodt has uploaded the songs that they have learned during club hours so that any student interested have access to them.

“We meet for one hour out of a week we have a limited time that we meet as a club,” said Sawyer.

Due to this, students practice outside of club hours so that they can bring all of their hard work together to create a final product.

Schjodt said, “Something that is particularly unique about the acapella club and distinguishes it from many other clubs is that, you know, there is this goal in mind to get them performing.”

As to what they plan to do, they have talked about possible performances on the streets of Southglenn, being involved in concert settings, opportunities at assemblies, and sporting events (such as half-times.) Another possibility is promposals from the acapella club for prom, which would help them raise funds. Schjodt also pointed out that acapella is happening all around the nation. If they go after these national goals, these students will really have to be driven and be willing to work hard for it.

“I’ve never met a student who doesn’t like music, never in my life,” said Schjodt.

It is hard to disagree with this. If you are interested in joining the acapella club, they are always excited to welcome new members. They are aiming for variety, so even if you are new to singing, the whole club will work to fit you in. Find them in the choir room, E1354, on Mondays from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. If you can’t make it, be sure to take a look at Schjodt’s webpage for current music and information, or contact Schjodt or Sawyer.