Simon says: Spartans have got talent

Posted on November 01, 2021

1a Chord practicing

They made it through round after round on television’s “America’s Got Talent” – receiving standing ovations from the judges and audience for largely a capella versions of songs they love.

It was pure coincidence that College of Visual and Performing Arts students Tavis Cunningham, Christoff Hairston, and Julian Kennedy sat at the same table one afternoon in the dining hall and bonded over their shared talent and musical idols.

But when they started singing together, the true magic happened.

The chemistry was instant, and the dining staff weren’t the only ones impressed. The students posted a video of themselves singing that went viral, and that video landed them an audition on “America’s Got Talent” Season 16. Thus, 1aChord was born.

That audition on the AGT stage, of Coldplay’s “Fix You,” was met with an enthusiastic “yes” from all four judges, including Simon Cowell.

“The audition was a little nerve-racking at first, but once we got into the moment, we were just kind of lost in the music and let the music speak for ourselves,” said Kennedy, a senior jazz studies major with a concentration in piano performance.

Cunningham, a sophomore, is a musical theatre major. Hairston, also a sophomore, is a music major with a concentration in voice.

Now, they are back on campus, with memories of a summer they’ll never forget.

By Alexandra McQueen
Photograph by Martin W. Kane

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