A Cappella at Blair — A History

A cappella singing at Montgomery Blair goes back to 1991 with a group called "Accidental Harmony". During the 1990s, some other names were in the scene, including "Vocal Agression" and "Those Five Guys." The name "InToneNation" appeared in 1995. Now, in the summer of 2013, we've re-created the history from reminiscences of some of those early members:

ACCIDENTAL HARMONY

Accidental Harmony was probably Blairís first student-run acappella group. It began in 1991. One of the founders, Emily Schuster gives the following account of this group and how it evolved into InToneNation:

Three friends (Alenda Chang, Renee Olano, and Roxanne Hoch [now McCarley]) and I started Accidental Harmony in the spring of 1991 when we were all freshmen at Blair. We rehearsed all summer and performed our first song, Don't Let Your Heart by the Mint Juleps (quite badly, I might add), at Magnet Arts Night†that fall. Soon after that, we expanded the group and became co-ed. Throughout high school, we primarily performed at Magnet Arts Nights and Blair choir concerts. The summer of 1994, we put together our first full-length concert. All of us graduated that year except for Anne Hundzinski (now Scott) and Andre Black. Anne and Andre — along with Aric Martin, who had already gone to University of Maryland but was still singing with us — decided to start a new a cappella group after the rest of us left for college.

THOSE FIVE GUYS . . .

. . . originated as "The Three Guys Singing Scarborough Fair." The three guys were Nick Goedert, Aaron Berman, and Jeremy Fisher. They sang Scarborough Fair (obviously) at Magnet Arts Night in spring of 1995. Soon afterwards, the group had added David Bauckham and Andre Black and had become known as "The Five Guys Singing Silhouettes." The name was soon shortened to "Those Five Guys." With an abnormal addiction to Jell-O and outstanding vocals, all five of Those 5 Guys joined InToneNation and added some of their short songs like A Jell-O Jingle and If Ya Cared fer Me (Ya wouldnta Eat'n Ma Jeller) to the group's repertoire.

INTONENATION

(As told by David Bauckman, one of the original members under this name)

In Tone Nation's first performance was at the fall Blair choir concert in 1994. The group sang "Shut De Do'." Emily Yanisko (now Maloney) sang lead. I'm pretty sure In Tone Nation was still called "Vocal Aggression" — the group's original name — during its first performance. Andre Black came up with the name "In Tone Nation."

The three members of Accidental Harmony who did not graduate in 1994 (Anne Hundzinski, Andre Black, and Aric Matin who attended UMD but was still singing with the group) returned in the fall of 1994 to create a new student-run a cappella group, this time with auditions. A half year later, the group finally found solid footing under the name "Vocal Aggression" and turned some heads. By the end of 1996, InToneNation had long since picked up a much cooler name, tried a couple of gigs, learned new songs by the handful, and stole a few concerts. After a year and a half of very sporadic recording sessions, InToneNation released its first album Coppertone.

Andre Black, one of the founders of InToneNation is the one who coined the new name for the group. There was evidently disagreement about the name with some members wanting to use the name Vocal Aggression but eventually InToneNation won out and has been the name of Blairís student-run group ever since.

Ever wonder why Lonesome Road is such a tradition with InToneNation? A note from Andre Black (in August 2013) explains it: "I distinctly recall singing the King's Singers arrangement of Lonesome Road absolutely everywhere and as frequently as possible during school hours, just because we loved the harmony. Another memory: People singing The Rose in my car (very much like the recent Family Guy interpretation)."


If you have more ITN history, please send it to itn.mbhs@gmail.com

Page last updated August 21, 2013.