Band Together

When Ashley, Giovanna, Isabella, and Rupsha first met, the four girls had one thing in common: piano lessons.

Ironically, their band, Group Ashley, features almost every instrument— guitar, tambourine, ukulele, xylophone— but piano. As time progressed, they all began to pick up other instruments on their own time and discover their individual passions for music.

The band, “founded” for a Hockaday coffee house in December 2009, “didn’t start as an intended group; we just spontaneously wanted to perform,” says Rupsha.

“It just started as a jam session,” So adds, “and then we just decided to perform because it sounded good.”

After only a couple performances (the first was “Hey, Soul Sister”), the group evolved into an object of interest for upper school Hockadaisies—recent e-mails bribed students to come to events with the promise, “Group Ashley will be performing.”

Part of their appeal could be that the band does not perform incredibly often, only three or four times a year, so “people will jump at the chance to experience their rare appearances,” says junior Abby.

And although it seems that Group Ashley rehearses often—they have only messed up a couple times—they will “usually practice at Isabella’s the day before or day of their performance,” according to Ashley.

“We also meet during Y-period and conference sometimes,” says Rupsha.

“There are four of us, so scheduling is difficult. The easiest place to practice is at school,” says Giovanna.

Performances this year have increased due to requests to play at occasions like the Environmental Fair and Style Your Sole. The band loves performing and despite their cool composure on-stage, they do get nervous.

Giovanna recalls, “Rupsha was playing the tambourine when she wasn’t supposed to and I stopped it. The audience definitely noticed, and we all started laughing.”

Rupsha laughs, “She actually just reached over mid-song and stopped the tambourine.”

So recalls another mess-up in a coffee house earlier this year.

“We were going too fast, then Ashley and I got off rhythm, and Gio just forgot the lyrics. It was a band fail moment and everyone just stopped playing. Gio played it cool and counted us back in, but it was nerve-wracking.”

For the future, the band hopes to continue performing on a regular basis and continue enlivening the days of each Hockadaisy with their music.

“I would do anything to see Group Ashley perform,” says junior Maggie. “I cannot wait to see their next performance!”

—Hunter