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January 26, 2021

Musical AHA Alumna Sings with Penn State’s ‘None of the Above’

Academy of the Holy Angels alumna Leah Sanchez (AHA ’20) recently landed a role with None of the Above, an a cappella ensemble at Penn State University.


“Leah was in the AHA Concert Choir and Vocal Ensemble for four years,” AHA Choral Director Lisa Marciano said of Sanchez. “She became one of their biggest cheerleaders and someone I counted on.” Marciano described Sanchez as having a strong alto voice and a great range that also allows her to sing soprano.

“I always encourage the choir members to seek out opportunities to sing in college, whether in a choir or an a cappella group. So many of our students have found their way into performing ensembles on the collegiate level, and the comment I hear most often is how much they miss it when they are out of college. I’m glad that Leah found such a productive and positive space to be in!” Marciano added.

Sanchez said she researched Penn State’s a cappella groups and auditioned for the ones that appealed to her, including NOTA, which she was following on Instagram.

“I auditioned and fell in love with the atmosphere of NOTA and the people,” Sanchez said. The current members were similarly impressed by Sanchez’s considerable talent, and welcomed her to the group. Sanchez reported that NOTA was the school’s first co-ed a cappella ensemble.

This multi-faceted musician also plays trumpet.

“I actually am not playing the trumpet at the moment due to my heavy workload as a STEM major,” said Sanchez, a forensic science major who plans to minor in biological anthropology. “In the future, I plan on auditioning for the pep band that plays for some of the games. Nothing too crazy, though, because my school work comes first.”

Before her graduation from AHA, Sanchez received an Angels in the Arts Scholarship in recognition of her contributions to the Academy’s vibrant performing arts program. This talented young woman sang, played trumpet, and worked with the stage crew for AHA for four years. In addition, she was manager of the AHA Choir, co-president of the AHA Orchestra, and chief of the stage crew (theater). Sanchez sang alto for the audition-only a cappella AHA Vocal Ensemble, and played trumpet for both the AHA Jazz Ensemble and the AHA Orchestra.


In 2019, Sanchez performed at Carnegie Hall with an international honors choir. She also distinguished herself by becoming one of only four students from a Catholic high school to be named to the All County Band & Choir (Bergen County).


She has performed at the AHA Talent Show, and regularly sang for senior citizens as a member of JOY, which is short for Joining Young and Old. Sanchez was also a member of the award-winning AHA Bowling Team, and is a member of the Spanish National Honor Society.


Founded by the School Sisters of Notre Dame in 1879, the Academy of the Holy Angels is the oldest private girls’ school in Bergen County. While AHA is steeped in Catholic tradition, this prestigious high school serves young women from a broad spectrum of cultural and religious backgrounds. Over time, thousands of women have passed through AHA’s portals. Many go on to study at some of the nation’s best universities, earning high-ranking positions in medicine, government, law, education, public service, business, arts, and athletics. The Academy’s current leaders continue to further the SSND mission to provide each student with the tools she needs to reach the fullness of her potential—spiritually, intellectually, socially, and physically, by offering a first-rate education in a nurturing environment where equal importance is placed on academic excellence, character development, moral integrity, and service to others.