Accidentals and Naturals a core part of NHS community

Natalie Mack, news editor

The well known Nantucket High School singing group, the Accidentals and Naturals are back up and singing this school year after not being able to perform last school year due to the pandemic. “Last year, not being able to sing was devastating. It is what I do every day, all day, and to have that taken away was very painful…” Director Erin MacIver, music teacher at Nantucket High School reflected.

The Accidentals and Naturals is a group of selected Nantucket High School students who are registered for chorus all year round and audition the previous year. However, MacIver explained that since the group hasn’t been able to sing for almost two years, she is just working on rebuilding it. Therefore, she modified the requirements for this year. The group is composed of males and females from all different grade levels. In previous years, in addition to singing at various events and private functions around the island, the group would raise money and take a trip to New York City. However, for the past two years, this trip has been cancelled due to the ongoing pandemic. The group hopes to hold the trip in spring of 2023. 

The A&N kicked off their first performance since February of 2020 singing at the annual Nantucket tree lighting downtown on November 26th. This event, which is an annual tradition, always has the Accidentals and Naturals perform a series of Christmas carols for Nantucket residents, as all the Christmas trees set up downtown are lit. However, this year’s tree lighting performance was noteworthy due to the fact that this event did not take place last year because of covid but also because president of the United States, Joe Biden as well as some members of his family were present during the event as they were visiting the island for Thanksgiving. Therefore, the group was overjoyed by their debut performance.

“It was exciting and nerve racking. I thought we did a phenomenal job! We’ve never had anyone that ‘famous’ attend one of our performances.” junior and first-year member Olivia Scott expressed.

Similarly, MacIver reflected on the experience stating that, “…this year was a little different in that it was our first performance in two years, and we got to perform for President Biden, and his family, in addition to the Nantucket community. It was an amazing experience.” It seems as though their comeback performance was certainly one to remember. 

Originally created by former Nantucket High School chorus teacher, Barbara Elder, the Accidentals and Naturals has been around for about 20-25 years. Class of 2019 graduate and former member of the Accidentals and Naturals, Nichole Leblanc reflects on her favorite part of this group stating that, “I honestly just loved hanging out with everyone, we’d rehearse in the evenings so kids would be coming in from swim practice or drama club rehearsals. Getting to spend time togethering laughing and singing by the piano was really special.”

Similarly, former member and class of 2021 graduate Maisie Cocker states that, “the best part of being in accidentals and naturals was the growth I saw in both my own and my peer’s choral skills. Watching everyone grow together each year was really special. I know a lot of alumni, including myself, are now in acapella groups at college. Being a part of Accidentals and Naturals definitely sets you up for success in that respect.” From the alumni’s reflection on their time with the group, it seems that it certainly was something special.

Correspondingly, MacIver expressed that, “My favorite part of conducting the group is watching the students learn the music, and grow into sort of a family. We spend a lot of time together, especially around the holiday’s, and the sense of community and enthusiasm this group brings is heart-warming and infectious. It is amazing to get to work with this amazing group of singers.” Based on the alumni’s and conductor’s reflections on their experiences with the Accidentals and Naturals, it seems as though the group is something special. 

Upcoming performances for the group include; singing on the main street stage Saturday December 4th at 3pm for Nantucket’s annual stroll weekend, a private party at the Westmoor club, the night of holiday magic at the whaling museum on December 10th, as well as their annual dessert cabaret fundraiser on December 13th, at 6:00 and 7:30pm. These performances have been done by this group in previous years as well.

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