What is VOLT?


LTHS VOLT is an a cappella group that dedicated their time with singing different style of music. Photo Credit: JSTOR Daily

Cadence Troxel , Guest Writer

LTHS’s acapella choir VOLT takes the stage yet again to work on the remaining music for this year, and is already planning for next year’s competitions. VOLT is open to the public for anyone who wants to join, but starry-eyed newcomers need to be making sure they’re not biting off more than they can chew with VOLT’s high-intensity routine.


VOLT, contrary to popular opinion, is not actually by definition a show choir. While similar in performances and choreography, VOLT is an acapella group, meaning they provide their own vocal percussion, chords, background music, and solos.

“We do different things, we use handheld microphones, we do choreo… it’s more like, if you see acapella onstage, it isn’t a show choir, it’s different than that,” said Micheal Buntyn, LT’s choir instructor. “It’s more with the song itself, and it looks a little different, it’s not so much dancing as it is blocking, in a way.”


Along with its own performances, VOLT also engages in two competitions every year. The first of these is AcaTex, which is the first weekend in December. Many different groups come and compete against each other, but also go to perform, learn, and encourage other schools.

“What’s really interesting about the acapella community is that everyone is very supportive of each other,” said Buntyn. “I remember last year after AcaTex a kid came up and said, ‘Oh my gosh, that was so cool, I follow you guys on InstaGram now, it’s really neat, I love what a great set you guys did, all these great things are going on’”.

Later in the year, VOLT takes part in another competition called ICHSA. ICHSA stands for the International Competition of High School Acappella, and is in general a very important and prestigious event. ICHSA took place on February 4th this year, and again is a very supportive competition, even though the high schools get ranked into who did the best performance.

“One of the things I like about it, is the competitions – somebody’s gonna win, obviously, and they go on and do the things like that- but the thing is the competitions are all very supportive, and it’s more about the chance to perform than it is about winning any award,” said Buntyn.


VOLT also has to learn multiple, intricate pieces of music in a relatively short time, and they have to be able to hold their own part against each other with no backing track. Obviously, the acapella choir takes a lot of dedication and hard work, but Mr. Buntyn came up with a solution to help make sure the choir doesn’t overload after school extracurricular and homework. VOLT officially became it’s own class over the pandemic, learning, practicing, and choreographing music during 2B. Having VOLT as a class certainly takes off some hours of dedication needed, but out-of-school practice is still common.

“[VOLT] probably ranges from like 5-6 hours a week,” said sophomore Aria Wood. “We practice mostly in class, but we still practice outside, we have to.”

Junior Mihika Bharadwaj agrees, adding “Honestly it depends on how much time we have for our competitions. If we are running out of time in class or a bunch of people aren’t here and we’re running out of time, we’ll try to find [time to practice], and since we just got MegaLunch back, that’s great too.”


Everyone at Lebanon Trail High School is able to audition for VOLT. The audition consists of one minute singing any song acapella, no music in the background. The video gets sent to Mr. Buntyn, who sends it to colleagues for them to review in an unbiased manner. The results get sent back to Mr. Buntyn, who relays them to the applicants. Those who make it into VOLT also need to have another choir class on their schedule, taking up a total of two electives.

“What I’m looking for is, can they stay in the key once they’re there, do they emote through their singing, does it have interest, are they exciting, and can they hold on to all those pieces?” said Mr. Buntyn.


VOLT has a fair share of challenges and isn’t for the faint of heart. Choreography, vocal parts, field trips, and extra competitions are all student-led and student-based, leaving the performance almost completely in control of the performers. There are, at maximum, 18 spots on VOLT, which leaves about 8 spots to be auditioned for. However, Mr. Buntyn has said that if there are more than 8 candidates that make it past auditions, he will start another group called ReVoLution. Overall, VOLT is a full and amazing high school experience, one no one should miss out on auditioning for.

“It’s just a tight-knit group, and we all love working together,” said Bharadwaj.


Below is a link to their recent performance: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Xb6rWuFJ9TZU45vW1QXzC3SjWnhqTtp6/view?usp=drivesdk