Wellesley POPS Senior Profile: Classical and Contemporary—The Duality of Ritvick Abrol

Special to The Swellesley Report courtesy of the Wellesley High School Bradford and Parents of Performing Students (POPS). This is one in a series of POPS Senior Profiles we’ll be publishing.


While Wellesley High School senior Ritvick Abrol has been heavily involved in music throughout his life, it wasn’t until recently that he began to sing. Joining the choral elective, Subharmonics (previously Brooks Brothers), in his sophomore year of high school, Abrol’s talent allowed him to quickly rise in the department, making it into the All-State Festival Chorus.

Before beginning to sing in high school, Abrol was a committed pianist. In middle school, he would practice for three to four hours a day. “Piano was very isolating for me because it was a very big rat race—especially during COVID-19—to be the very best at my instrument,” said Abrol.

Ritvick Abrol
Ritvick Abrol at the Hatch Shell to perform in the MAJE Gold Medal Showcase. (Photo credit: Maeve Kelley)

 

After joining chorus, Abrol’s friends encouraged him to audition for a cappella. He ultimately joined A Cappella Anonymous, and has been a member ever since. 

Unlike with piano, he has less pressure in chorus to enter competitions and win awards. This is something he can do for just himself, regardless of external validation. “It’s a very selfish reason for me. I really like to self express.” 

However, Abrol has also received numerous accolades for his singing. He is a Rice Street intensive, a two-time MMEA Senior District and All-State Festival musician, and was selected as an alternate member for the NAfME All-National mixed choir in 2022. In the spring of 2023, he also received the Leslie Holmes Choral award from choral director Dr. Kevin McDonald. “Ritvick is an exceptionally intelligent student who loves music and loves sharing music. His humility is what is most unique about him. He is one of the top musicians in the state, but doesn’t take up air space to let others know it.”  said McDonald. 

Abrol’s approach to sharing music is notable. He is a member of Music for Society, a club at the high school which is designated by students to simply share music with the community. He is willing to take any role just to be able to share: whether it is playing the piano, being in the background, performing a solo, or serving as accompaniment, he is always ready to follow and also willing to lead. Abrol’s interest is so genuine it brings out the best kind of music-making. Through cultivating genuine desire to share music with others, the audience can hear one musical message and it only makes the performance better. 

This year, Abrol became a music leader of A Cappella Anonymous alongside Kate Taplin ‘24, meaning he arranged and taught the music to the group for performances such as Acatober and Acastock. When discussing his nomination to be music leader, Abrol recalled something Dr. McDonald told them: “You should really consider putting yourself out there if you think you’re in the position to put yourself out there.”

Taplin describes working with Abrol to be “the best ever,” as he brings his perfect pitch and humor to the table. “Ritvick is one of those people who, before you meet him, is just such a myth. And then you meet him and he’s just as smart and talented as you thought he was going to be,” said Taplin.

Above all, Abrol loves leading the rehearsals for a cappella and seeing all of the “talented people” come together. Being a solo pianist for so long, he appreciates this opportunity to experience collaboration in music. “It was always about understanding the humans in the group first and then the music happens second,” said Abrol. He is an exceptionally versatile musician, but doesn’t carry himself this way. He can write music, he can lead from the piano, and he can lead with his ear. He can do classical music, pop, and vocal jazz. His expression is so sincere that it all contributes to his strength as both a leader and a performer, which, remarkably, he always manages to balance with his strong sense of humor.

Looking ahead, Abrol is excited for what college music opportunities are to come. He plans to attend Washington University in St. Louis, where he hopes to continue to participate in a cappella groups.

 

Article written by WHS Bradford Editor-in-Chief Clementine Zei.

 

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