Tensync becomes close-knit family through love of singing

September 24, 2010 — by Izzy Albert

Olivia Chock and Eric Wang go to Saratoga High School. Josh Ding, Jasper Wu, Sam Hui, Michelle Lee and Jenny So go to Monta Vista High School. Nicole Chen goes to Archbishop Mitty High School. Daniel Chow goes to Cupertino High School. Two things they all have in common? A love for singing and a knack for performing.

Tensync is an acapella group comprised of 10 high schoolers from around the southern Bay Area, including juniors Eric Wang and Olivia Chock, who are also a part of Crystal Children’s Choir in San Jose. The group is well-respected by its choir and community for the past four years.

Oliver Yeh, an alumnus from Bellarmine and currently a junior at UC Berkeley, came up with the idea of a high school student acapella group after being a part of a similar acapella group. Yeh asked nine people from his choir if they wanted to start another singing group with him, one of the members being Andrea Wang, a Saratoga High graduate and current senior at UCLA.

“I wasn’t really close friends with some of the members in our group until [Yeh] brought us together,” said Wang. “I was nervous at first, but we all got along together really well. They’re some of my closest friends now, and I’m really thankful.”

Tensync has an annual concert in August at which they perform self-arranged music, meaning the members re-make popular songs into “acapella form.” When a song is sung in acapella form, there is no music and the members make the beat of the song themselves.

The group usually holds its performances at Union Church in Cupertino, and this past year members also performed at Heartskate, an annual event to raise awareness and money for the organizations that support victims of Sudden Cardiac Arrest and other heart-related issues. Tensync also has several small gigs planned for this year, as well as two competitions coming up. The group practices two to three hours a week normally, but sometimes more when preparing for an upcoming concert or gig.

Chock, a member of Tensync for two years, believes a lot of hard work is put into the group, but the feeling of satisfaction is always worth it.

“It definitely takes a lot of commitment because we want to be able to attend as many gigs as possible,” said Chock. “Our commitment is definitely driven by the fact that we have competitions, as well as the sheer joy it brings us to perform.”

When Tensync was first formed, the members found themselves stumped when trying to think of a name for the group. Names such as “kkofmjakt” (the first initials of each member from the first generation) and “Sensasians” were tossed around, but Wang’s idea of “Tensync” was chosen, and they’ve stuck with it ever since.

Tensync has been known to create everlasting friendships and tight bonds among high school students who share little to nothing in common, other than a talent and love for singing. According to several alumni, the tummy aches from laughing so hard with group members are what they miss the most.

“[The best thing I got from Tensync] is a sense of community. Even though I’ve graduated, Tensync has taught me to keep coming back,” said Wang. “[At concerts], it’s incredible [to get] onstage as someone [who] changed but [keeps] going back to a feeling so familiar.”

1 view this week