The History Behind the 2018 AcaPella Show: “Revolution”


Gavin Klein

Last year, AcaPella brought a murder mystery to the stage with the show What Happened To Mr. Body? and things are no less heated this time around. This year’s show, entitled Revolution, takes the audience back to 1776 in the midst of the American struggle for independence. Inspired in part by the Broadway musical Hamilton, the show seeks to capture the urgency of the Revolution through a fast-paced, emotional gauntlet of music and choreography.

“To help us bring out some of the emotion in the show, we looked up some people who lived in the Revolution times and based our actions off of them, so we all had our own stories,” said junior Jacob Schemm. “It makes everything feel a little more realistic when you have some history to tie it back to.”

In the show, Schemm portrays a British soldier. He chose Jeffery Amherst, a prominent Redcoat general, as the basis for his character. Historically, this person fought in the Revolution as well as a few other wars, like the Seven Years War and a war in Austria. He was even involved in the French Revolution. Similar to Schemm, everybody else in the show also has their own unique backstory that helps them energize their character and thrust themselves into the time period of the show.

“I’m pretty excited about the season,” said combo member Troy Miller. “The historical theme of the show makes it, so we can play some pretty interesting stuff that most other show choirs probably don’t get to play.”

One part of the show features a drummer boy walking across the battlefield, which is something historical that would be found in every fight between the British and the Americans.

“I think this show is gonna be pretty unique,” said Schemm. “It’s something different, but it’s also something that everybody in the audience can relate to because it’s America… and I love freedom.”

The Pella show choirs have had a rich history of doing ‘story shows,’ but this is the first time that the story is rooted in something authentic– something that’s an important part of all our stories as Americans.