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‘4 of Hart’s’ group hits all the right notes

Posted: February 20, 2013 5:20 p.m.
Updated: February 20, 2013 5:20 p.m.
The 4 of Hart's are, from left, Molly Ryan, Marissa Munter, Madison Frisch and Lindsay Ryan. Signal photo by Jonathan Pobre  The 4 of Hart's are, from left, Molly Ryan, Marissa Munter, Madison Frisch and Lindsay Ryan. Signal photo by Jonathan Pobre 
The 4 of Hart's are, from left, Molly Ryan, Marissa Munter, Madison Frisch and Lindsay Ryan. Signal photo by Jonathan Pobre 

It began with the light tapping of a foot against a stage, buttressed by fingers snapping.

Then a soft, warbling note, barely audible at first, escaped the lips of one girl. Steadily, three other joined in at various pitches.

And there under the stage lights in the auditorium of Hart High School, the four students who comprise the “4 of Hart’s” a cappella group turned a simple hum into a minutes-long melodious mash-up of more than a dozen pop songs.

Though their song resounded through a mostly empty auditorium during an impromptu performance Tuesday, the members of the group usually play to a larger house.

And they don’t get much larger than the Staples Center, where the group performed the national anthem last week.

The group is made up of four students from Hart High School ranging in age from 15 to 17. The members are the Ryan sisters, sophomore Lindsay and senior Molly, and a pair of juniors, Madison Frisch and Marissa Munter.

The 4 of Hart’s came together after a chance meeting in the Hart High Show Choir about three years ago. The quartet then became fast friends.

And from that friendship was born vocal harmony.

“It was all very organic,” said Lindsay Ryan. “We started hanging out and we liked to sing, so it all just came together.”

While their friendship played a role in forming the group, the members also happen to cover a natural vocal range, enabling them to weave complex harmonies together.

During their three-year run, the group has crafted countless “mash-ups,” pieces that take existing songs and arrange them into a unified piece that transitions seamlessly from one song to the other.

“We’ll sing anything: pop, rock ...,” Munter said.

“We’ll even do heavy metal,” interrupted Frisch, causing the group to break out laughing.

The girls also perform more traditional fare such as jazz and patriotic songs.

“We definitely don’t discriminate against any genres,” said Molly Ryan.

The 4 of Hart’s pitch prowess has been on full display since its formation, including performances for the city of Santa Clarita on Veteran’s Day and at the grand opening of the Newhall Library in September.

But most recently the group took center stage, or rather center court, at the Staples Center to sing the national anthem for a game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers on Valentine’s Day.

“It was amazing,” Molly Ryan said, as her fellow group members nodded in agreement. “It was a sold-out game, there was a ton of energy and it was by far the biggest venue we’ve ever played.”

Big venues can breed big nerves, but each of the girls has a way of calming down before a show.

“My sister always texts me to remind me to relax and breathe,” Munter said. “She also tells me to have fun and reminds me not to trip.”

But landing gigs the magnitude of the Staples Center takes time, and lots of it.

The girls have to fit practice sessions in between study sessions and work around their other obligations as members of the Hart Show Choir.

But even with the effort it can take, each of the members said she wouldn’t trade the experience for anything.

“It’s been so cool to learn from each other,” Frisch said. “I know I’ve learned so much, performance-wise.”

“And the best part is we’ve gotten to do this with such amazing friends,” said Lindsay Ryan.

See the ‘4 of Hart’s’ perform during Thursday’s edition of Studio Santa Clarita. The show posts at 3 p.m. on
On Twitter @LukeMMoney




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