Voices of Nixa


Justice Jones

Charles Speake (11, left), Abigail Conrad (11), Madison McGinnis (11) and Molly Rees (9) sing with the a cappella group during a rehearsal.

Justice Jones, Staff Writer

In the first semester of the 2021-22 school year, an a cappella group was formed at Nixa High School, known as Nixa Cappella. Daniel Gutierrez, one of the choir directors at Nixa, is the main sponsor for the group.
“I wanted to do the a cappella ensemble because it offers something a little different,” Gutierrez said. “I like that it gets the choir out in a different way.”
A cappella is the act of singing without an instrumental accompaniment. Many can recognize this style from groups like Pentatonix. While similar to other choirs in many ways, a cappella comes with a unique set of challenges.
“Pitch is extremely important, especially when people know what the music is supposed to sound like,” Gutierrez said.
Gutierrez reached out to Kelsie Satterfield (12) to help get the project off the ground. Satterfield is also a member of the Ozarks, an independent a cappella group. Her experiences in the Ozarks helped her lead Nixa Cappella.
“Everything I’ve learned there has helped me out a lot here, especially the logistics of it,” Satterfield said.
Satterfield encouraged many of her peers to audition for Nixa Cappella, including Dalton Wilson (12). He was hesitant at first, but eventually auditioned for the group and made it. Wilson said one of the benefits to being in the group is the connection with his peers.
“This a cappella group requires you to know who you’re singing with and how to interact with them so you can make the sound that you want to,” Wilson said.
Nixa Cappella faced many challenges in their first year, including finding appropriate music and performance opportunities.
“Your first year starting anything is going to be really rough because people don’t know who you are, so you have to start fresh, get your name out there, get people interested,” Satterfield said.
The group hit a rock when one of their main mentors, Chase Phillips, a student teacher from Missouri State University, had to leave after the first semester was finished.
“We sat down and talked with each other and realized that we wanted to keep going, and that we didn’t really need a teacher supervision all the time and that we can do it on our own,” Wilson said.
Student leadership is a main component of Nixa Cappella. Satterfield played an important role in keeping the group organized, and worked to make sure that everyone enjoyed their time there.
“I want an atmosphere where we can all have fun and learn music that we all love,” Satterfield said.
When given the opportunity, Wilson took on the challenge of arranging a piece for the ensemble. He set out to make an a cappella cover of “Viva La Vida” by Coldplay.
“Arranging a piece is more challenging than just writing one,” Wilson said. “It’s definitely a project, but I’m glad I am doing it because it will help me in the future.”
Wilson wants to go into music as a career by both teaching and composing.
“There are lots of artists that roam this earth that have written music, and then composed it and taught it, all at the same time, and I’ve seen these people do this and it’s always a starstruck moment for me,” Wilson said. “I feel like I could do that, and I feel like I want to do that.”
Starting for the 2022-23 school year, Nixa Cappella will be an upper level choir class available to students in the choir program. This year’s club was an important step to make that happen. Having a cappella as a class gives the ensemble an opportunity to dive more into techniques and accomplish more with the time they’re given.
“With the class, you have more rehearsal time so you can do a lot more,” Satterfield said. “I’m really excited to see where it leads when it becomes a class.”