New Blue ends Bay Area tour after performing for Paly students

Christina Chen, Author

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After singing for Palo Alto High School students and parents on Tuesday, Jan. 8, New Blue, an a cappella group from Yale University, is ending its Bay Area tour by performing with Stanford a cappella groups Talisman and Fleet Street today at Stanford’s White Plaza.

According to business manager Victoria Hall-Palerm, the oldest women’s a cappella group at Yale routinely visits members’ hometowns during Winter Break and Spring Break.

“We try to go to every member’s [hometowns],” Hall-Palerm said. “In the spring we will be going on a road trip all along the East Coast and visit two members’ hometowns in North Carolina.”

This year, New Blue decided to visit the Bay Area, home to Paly alumna Margot Gerould (Class of 2011) and San Franciscan member Evi Steyer.

Gerould, whose solo encore concluded the Tuesday performance, stated that her experiences in the Paly Choir program gave her the tremendous passion that made her determined to join an a cappella group in college.

“Paly really instilled a real love of music in me,” Gerould said. “I am incredibly excited to come back and share my musical experience in college with everyone at Paly.”

Gerould participated in Concert Choir throughout her time at Paly and was also a member in Spectrum Singers and Madrigal Singers.

Once in college, she chose New Blue out of 15 Yale a cappella groups because she liked its diverse repertoire.

“The New Blue sings pop, rock, and jazz music from the 60s to today, with repertoire ranging from Simon and Garfunkel to Cole Porter to Taylor Swift,” Gerould said.

According to musical director Caroline Diehl, anyone in the group can arrange, and all pieces from the New Blue are member-arranged. Gerould thinks this policy is one of the defining features of New Blue.

“Everything you just heard was arranged either by someone from this class or a member of a previous class,” Gerould said.

The Tuesday performance ended with a question and answer session in which New Blue members shared their experiences in the college a cappella world.

According to Diehl, the group rehearses six to eight hours a week, with full group and section rehearsals.

Diehl emphasized the importance of tailoring the repertoire to the voices in the group.

“We may hear a great pop song and think, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if we sang this?'” Diehl said. “But if you don’t have a voice that would fit it, it’s better to leave it for next year. You have to use the arrange for specific members of the group to bring out their talents.”

Members indicated enthusiasm about group dynamics and stressed the importance of leadership.

“We have a really tight-knit group,” member Margaret Coons said. “Caroline is really amazing as the leader and listens to our suggestions. It’s really important to have one person to go to.”

After going back to college, New Blue will be working on producing a CD, according to Hall-Palerm.

Check out New Blue’s Youtube channel to watch their previous performances.