A vocal trio. An acoustic band. An acoustic trio. Or an acoustic, vocal trio, ensemble. All definitions that seniors Maggie Lucas, Ko Narter, and Kay Sibal have given to their singing group, the Power Beez.
“We are a band, but I guess we are just tentative to call ourselves a band because we are just a guitar and voices,” Sibal said.
Power Beez primarily performs acoustic covers of pop songs from the early 2000s, like “Fireflies” by Owl City, and Disney songs, Sibal said.
“What we like to do is take these tacky pop songs and make them sound really cool,” Narter said. “But if you know the original song, it is so funny.”
Narter said that for their arranging system, they are known for their three part harmonies. Sibal often sings the bottom harmonies, Lucas sings the high harmonies and Narter sings the melody. And then sometimes they change their roles in the verse or add a rhythm switch.
“We have kind of got a system going,” Sibal said.
Lucas, Narter, and Sibal all used to be a part of a band in middle school and the beginning of high school called the Bystanders, which was later renamed Rooftop Collective.
During their sophomore year, Rooftop Collective was requested to perform for a prom ask, but only the three of them were available, Sibal said.
“That was the first time that the three of us performed as our Power Beez sound,” Sibal said. “It was a three part harmony, and it had ukulele at one point.”
Later, when they performed a dance for the winter Dance PE show, Narter said they needed a name for their choreography group.
“Everything in the show was about power struggles and puppets and we asked [Dance teacher Amy Moorhead] what we should call it,” Narter said. “Power struggle? Power puppets? And then she was like, ‘What about Power Beez?’ We thought she was kidding.”
Sibal said that they put it in the program to be tacky and ironic. However, they kept using the name for more dances.
In the spring of their junior year, Lucas, Narter and Sibal sang as a trio at the opening of Dress Best for Less on Lakeshore. For publicity in the newspaper, Lucas said they gave their band’s name to the woman who hired them.
“So we thought, do we dare submit this is as Power Beez?” Sibal said. “So we did it because we thought it would be ironic. Back then we were still laughing about the name, but now it is kind of legit.”
For their performances more recently, Sibal said they continue to busk in front of Dress Best for Less on Lakeshore, but they also hope to do more.
“We will do prom asks, winterball asks, performing at birthday parties, bat/bar mitzvahs, weddings, or wakes this year,” Sibal said.
Fellow Dance PE member from last year, junior Gabriella Garcia, said that Power Beez sang at her birthday party.
“At my birthday party they came, and they surprised us by singing a song,” Garcia said. “They sang ‘Flamingo,’ by Kero Kero Bonito.”
During the summer, to prepare for their performances, Power Beez practiced at least once a week. But during the school year, due to their busy schedules, they practice when they have a show approaching, Narter said.
“Because it is student run, and not an organized thing that has consequences for missing it, since the school year started, it has been put on the back burner,” Narter said.
Even with school, the trio of friends continues to spend time together, so they often post singing videos to their Instagram account, “@pwrbeez.” Crafting these videos takes less time than preparing for a live performance, since the video can only be one minute, Lucas said.
The listeners of Power Beez include the community, their choir and Dance PE friends, and fellow PHS troubadours. Narter said their fans are people engaged in their personal lives, and people who appreciate music.
“The people who I want to listen to our music, are people who are genuinely interested,” Sibal said. “I want our followers on Instagram to follow because they genuinely want to listen, not because they want a follow back.”
The group does more than just performances and videos, they also created a concert series club.
“We are thinking once a month we will create a platform for students who have their own music, or have arrangements of music, or just do covers in the amphitheater,” Narter said.
Narter said that Power Beez will probably perform at the first event as an example for others in the club, which will be their next gig as a group.
“I am hoping that the club will encourage more performers to come out of the woodwork,” Lucas said.
Because the group members will leave for college next year, they are unsure about the future of Power Beez, Sibal said.
“We aren’t trying to be famous,” Sibal said. “We are doing this because we love each other, we love hanging out with each other, and music and performing is what we love doing. So after high school, who knows what is going to happen.”
Narter said she is unsure whether in college she will find a group that she works with as well as she does with Lucas and Sibal. Narter also said that they all match each other personality wise and musically.
“As a group we are so lucky, because of our history,” Sibal said. “We were the three girls who were in that band in seventh grade. We have known each other, we have worked with each other for so long already. Finding that after high school is going to be really rare.”