HomeCheverus a cappella group tunes up for big day in Boston

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PORTLAND — In the white cinderblock chorus room decorated with posters of Ella Fitzgerald, Cassandra Wilson and the Tower of Power horn section, a poignant breakup ballad by Al Jarreau is coming to a close.

From left, Jake Boyce, Samantha SaVaun and Erin Fitzpatrick rehearse Monday as part of Cheverus High School’s a cappella jazz group Soulstice. The ensemble placed third last year in the Berklee College of Music’s Annual High School Jazz Festival.

Photos by Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

Rehearsing Monday for the Berklee jazz competition are Soulstice members, from left, Nathan Caso, Christian Cilley, Jake Boyce, Bobbiellah Andoh, Samantha SaVaun and Erin Fitzpatrick. The competition in Boston on Saturday is free and open to the public.

Joining the dulcet tones of six singers -- one voicing a bass line and others harmonizing to support the lead vocals of Cheverus High School senior Jake Boyce -- comes the surprising ring tone of an unseen cellphone belonging to Bobbiellah Andoh. The ring tone repeats "How to Love" by Lil Wayne.

Boyce blows the next line, substituting "desperately" for "tenderly," but they all hold it together for a sweetly delicate ending that gives the song its title, "Not Like This."

After a beat or two of silence, the teenagers dissolve into laughter. Boyce wonders aloud how he came up with "desperately."

"This is a sad song," says Samantha SaVaun, a junior, "but I was cracking up."

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