Seniors prep for final choir performance in ‘Broadway 2012′

Seniors prep for final choir performance in ‘Broadway 2012′

Photo courtesy of: gpsouthchoir.org. South's 2011-2012 senior choir members will be preforming
Photo courtesy of: gpsouthchoir.org. South's 2011-2012 senior choir members will be preforming "Broadway" June 1, 2 and 3 as a farewell to South.

MARISSA DAY ’14 | Academics Editor

Photo courtesy of: gpsouthchoir.org. South's 2011-2012 senior choir members will be preforming "Broadway" June 1, 2 and 3 as a farewell to South.
Photo courtesy of: gpsouthchoir.org. South's 2011-2012 senior choir members will be preforming "Broadway" June 1, 2 and 3 as a farewell to South.

Beginning Friday, June 1, South’s Choir will be hosting “Broadway 2012,” which is the final show of the school year for the choir, at North. Most of the show focuses on the seniors who are leaving, Vice President of Choir Cristina Swanson ’12 said.

Show times are June 1 and 2 at 8 p.m. and June 3 at 3 p.m. Broadway is the final show of the school year for choir, Swanson said.

“Each choir sings and dances music from Broadway musicals and then we have a Salute to the Senior Choir Class; they sing solos, and are featured throughout the show,” Choir Director Ellen Bowen said in an e-mail.

While “Broadway” encompasses all classes, the focus is primarily on the seniors, Swanson said. Every senior chooses a song from a different Broadway musical of their choice and must sing a solo during their performance. The show is spread out between the three nights, so each show has different seniors performing each night.

“’Broadway’ is like a farewell to the seniors,” said Swanson. “Everybody performs in ‘Broadway’ but the attention is centered around the seniors.”

All of the group numbers in the program include underclassmen, except for a couple selections, like the senior girls’ and boys’ number “Dancing in the Street” and “Marmalade” from “Nine,” Bowen said. The show also features an original song written by Harriet Steinke ’12 called “I Carry Your Heart” in response to an E.E. Cummings poem.

“I expect 100 percent when the students are preforming,” said Bowen.  “There are those few that will go the full route 100 percent energy and effort.  They are the students who get the most from this program as they learn how to really put out the energy in everything they do.”

Unlike a musical, “Broadway” doesn’t follow a particular script or storyline. Everything spreads out randomly and focuses on many popular Broadway productions.  For dancers, rehearsals become a top priority and the workload is tremendous, dance captain of South Singers and Treasurer of the choir, CJ Ryder ’12 said.

“As dance captain you have to go to your other classes’ rehearsals, so you have double the rehearsal time,” said Ryder. “You have to be willing to do anything and you have to work extra with the choreographers. You have to put a lot of extra time into it.”

Dancers are heavily involved in the production of the show, Ryder said. Because South has such a large show choir, they will be needed for the vast majority of the numbers. Not only do they have to know the songs, they must have all the dance moves memorized for the songs they are performing in.

“I expect 100 percent when the students are preforming,” said Bowen.  “There are those few that will go the full route 100 percent energy and effort.  They are the students who get the most from this program as they learn how to really put out the energy in everything they do.”

“Everyone has to be there all the time in order for the show to work,” said Ryder.

Although the focus of the show is on the graduating seniors, the underclassmen are not to be forgotten. They help provide backup for senior solos, and have their own class songs as well, Loris Dennis ’14 said. They work on their own songs as well as helping the seniors reach perfection for their pieces.

Some featured pieces include “Everybody Rejoice” from “Wiz” performed by the freshmen, “Make Our Children Grow” from “Candide,” and the performance will end with “Na Na Na Goodbye” for the seniors, Bowen said.  At the end they will come down the long center stairway when the show concludes.

“We’ve been preparing our group numbers and our own medleys and songs,” said Dennis. “We’re still doing work; we’re still involved and we’re still helping.”

For students like Dennis, the seniors provided leadership and became close friends for those just starting out in choir. They showed them how to be the best at what they do, and the underclassmen hope “Broadway” will be rewarding for the seniors’ hard work throughout their four years.

“(They) taught me how to be dedicated and how to be the most successful person you can be in choir or in general,” said Dennis. “I feel really sad about them leaving because I’ll miss them all, but I also know they’ll be very successful at whatever they do.”

For Bowen who has taught this group of kids for their whole high school career, it is both bittersweet and exciting to see them moving on. They are hardworking and dedicated, and helped make shows like “Phantom of the Opera” the hits that they were.

“I really have enjoyed these students,” said Bowen. “They will be remembered throughout the years as a wonderful class in choir for certain.”

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