Recently, Deerfield students have been creating new harmonies, rhythms, and musical groups: a co-ed a cappella group and Coda, a student-run band. The a cappella group was founded by Christina Li ’20, Caitlin Sugita ’18, Elliot Flagg ’20, Henry Hayden ’18, and Everett Tsai ’18, while Andy Han ’19 and Joshua Fang ’19 created Coda.
The inspiration for a co-ed group, according to Hayden, is the evident gender divide between the Mellow-D’s and the Rhapso-D’s. Hayden went on to describe how past co-ed a cappella groups “fizzled out.” He stated, “We wanted to create a group that would be co-ed, more inclusive, and would sustain longer.”
Unlike past co-ed a cappella groups, the group hopes to continue its pursuits with Flagg and Li as its leaders after Hayden and Sugita graduate. The process of creating this group, however, was not easy. Li stated, “They [the other a cappella groups] called it immature.”
Hayden commented that they received “backlash” from the other groups, but his intentions are clear. He claimed, “This is just another chance for people to get involved on campus musically. We want another chance to participate and contribute to the music program on campus.”
Although it is driven by inclusive vibes, the group wishes not to exceed more than ten people. Hayden explained, “The problem with a cappella is that once you get too big as a group, it’s hard for voices to blend together.” This a cappella group wishes to make harmonious, good-intentioned pop music in the years to come.
Meanwhile, the Deerfield community cheered as Coda made its debut at School Meeting on April 12. It all started when Han approached Fang and said, “We should start a band.” Fang agreed and commented, “We wanted to make something for musicians who really want to make music, and people who are more committed.”
The Coda creators expressed that they wish for the band to play on even after they graduate: “In 20 years when we come back to Deerfield, we wish to see other students playing in Coda, just like the Mellow-D’s and Rhapso-D’s.”
For their remaining years at Deerfield, the duo has two goals to achieve: to excite the Deerfield community about music again through relevant music and hold well-attended concerts. When he first arrived, Fang realized that the music program, in terms of instrumental music, was “lacking” and “there was not much interest.” Coda wishes to change this.
Although the group has faced hardships, specifically when writing sheet music, their love for the band has kept them going strong. What will the group be playing? “Not classical music,” Fang stated. There will be, however, a wide variety, since the members have different fields of interest and backgrounds in music. According to Fang, one of the main reasons behind Coda’s name (a musical term signifying the end of a piece) is “because it’s short and catchy. People will remember it. The second is because it has DA in it.”
Filled with DA pride and resilience, both music groups persist in their love for music and hope to build their own music legacy during their time here.