HomeClass Notes

School or Affiliation: Cornell
Ithaca, NY

Class Notes

The Class Notes was founded in 1983 by Justine Johnson, David Lefkowitz, and Tim Peierls. Their goal was to start a mixed-voice group (still a reasonably novel concept, although other Ivy League schools, such as Princeton and Yale, already had them). The original idea was to create a sort of blend between jazz and pop styles.

Finding a niche for mixed-voice a cappella was not always easy as there were not really any popular choral ensembles for mixed voices; only the Sage Chapel Choir and the Cornell Chorale—which were more community organizations than student groups—provided mixed-voice singing. Even the Songs of Cornell book from that period contained no mixed-voice arrangements! Mixed-voice groups were still relatively rare in the national collegiate a cappella scene, and there was an opinion (which still persists to some degree in the present) among many people that men and women cannot develop a natural blend with each other and so mixed-voice groups would necessarily be inferior to the single-sex groups.

However, the group was always able to attract talented members and built, even in the early days, a reputation of excellence among its relatively narrow group of fans.

Over time, the jazz roots of the group were gradually phased out. The group has performed a repertoire of primarily recent pop for about fifteen years. In recent years, the Class Notes have made great strides, placing 1st in the 2012 ICCA Quarterfinal of the Mid-Atlantic Region, with a bonus prize for best vocal percussion (Alex Martino) and best solo (Maya Guneseharan). In addition, Guneseharan's solo was nominated for a BOCA award.


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