Behind the Scenes of Senior Small

By Natasha Dalziel

You’ve seen them perform as the closing act in seasonal music concerts and even in the Senior UTL cheer, but how much do you really know about Winsor’s Senior Small? 

Senior Small is a cherished Winsor ensemble that has been around for over a decade. Each year, the group is composed of all senior students in Illumina, the Upper School selective choral ensemble. The group is primarily student-run, with the singers choosing the music that they perform and running many of their own rehearsals. Choral Director Andrew Marshall still works with the group but serves more as a supervisor. They perform almost exclusively acapella renditions of pop songs, differentiating them from the more traditional choral repertoire of Illumina. This year, Senior Small is composed of eight talented singers: Anissa Patel, Ava Kee, Chloe Chao, Christina Monroe, Jeremiah Hickman-Maynard, Meredith Tangney, Rebecca Riccio, and Sophia Gerogiannis.

While Illumina meets every other cycle day, Senior Small doesn’t have a designated meeting time, which can be challenging for the group. They find time to meet on their own, primarily outside of school, and occasionally at the ends of Illumina rehearsals. The lack of group rehearsals requires the singers to work hard individually to master their parts. Despite the challenges, Senior Small President Anissa Patel ’23 enjoys that the student-run aspect of Senior Small allows for “independence with our practices and individuality and expression through our repertoire.” She remarks that practices are filled with “enthusiasm and energy,” thanks to each group member’s passion for music.

The group’s small size and the fact that they perform with individual microphones amplifies the importance of each voice. This requires the singers to be incredibly knowledgeable and precise with their vocals, a skill that often makes them leaders in their sections of Illumina.

Many Senior Small members have been singing together in Illumina for three years, giving them an amazing group dynamic. Patel describes this year’s group as “talented, bonded, and … unique.” Marshall beams, “They continue to inspire me by their music making, by their energy, and the joy that they bring to self-learning and independence.” In the near future, he hopes that Senior Small can participate in acapella competitions, much like the singers of Pitch Perfect. In the meantime, we can’t wait to see Senior Small continue to shine!