Athens Drive Chorus Department 2018-2019 Performances

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Athens Drive Chorus Department 2018-2019 Performances

Alana Williamson, Cartoonist

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Throughout the 2018-2019 school year, the Athens Drive Chorus Department has participated in multiple performances throughout the community as well as at Athens Drive. Women’s Choir and Vocal Ensemble have traveled throughout the year to sing for a variety of audiences. But the performances at Athens Drive allow all three choirs to perform alongside one another. Each of these performances feature different styles of music ranging from pop music at  Spring Cafe to traditional choral pieces at the Winter Concert. Each performance has created new memories and continued Athens traditions throughout the school year.

The choral season began October 25, with Fall Cafe in the auditorium. This performance featured Mixed Choir, Women’s Chorus and Vocal Ensemble as well as student soloists. Each of the choirs’ selections were based around the pop music genre which featured “Hallelujah” and “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” In between performances from Mixed Chorus, Women’s Choir, and Vocal Ensemble, students soloists performed songs of their choice, this served as an opportunity to showcase their abilities and passion for music. The soloists featured pieces from well known musicals such as “Mamma Mia”, “Dogfight” and “Mean Girls.”  To wrap up the performance all of the choirs came together to sing “Seasons of Love” from “Rent.”

The first semester closed with the Winter Concert January 9 in the auditorium. The concert opened with Mixed Choir singing “ Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel” a gospel piece arranged by Roger Emerson followed by “Kyrie” and “A Bit of Holiday Cheer”. As Mixed Choir  exited the stage Leila Elmore, Anna Vtipl, William Wakeford and Vishal Kasula entered the stage to perform “Teddy Bear/Hound Dog” from the school musical “All Shook Up”. Following the performance, they reminded the audience to attend the spring musical which premiered on March 6 – 9th in the auditorium. Women’s Choir performed “The Holly and the Ivy” followed by “Mashed Potato/Love Poem” these songs were focused towards the upcoming holidays. Their performance also featured “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” a choral piece originated from a poem by Robert Frost. Vocal Ensemble performed “Mary Did You Know” as arranged by Pentatonix as well as “A Very Pentatonixy Christmas” arranged by Anna Vtipil. The performance also featured “Sleep” by Eric Whitacre and “Beautiful City” a gospel piece. The concert ended with the Athens Drive tradition of singing “Slow Dancing in the Snow” all three choirs and alumni sang this tune to close out the semester.

The second semester began with Singing Valentines, this is an annual tradition and fundraiser for the Athens Drive Chorus Department. Every year students in Women’s Chorus and Vocal Ensemble break into groups and select songs to perform throughout the school on Valentines Day. These songs are arranged by each of the groups to be performed to students throughout the school on Valentines Day. This event featured songs like “Lost in Japan,” “Stand By Me,” the “Friends” theme song and many more. The chorus department raised over 2000 dollars from this event.

“Singing Valentines is always super fun.  I love getting to surprise people and make their day.  There’s lots of smiles and good music all around school.  Fourth period is also really fun, because we get to see all the other groups perform and enjoy their songs,” said Kasey Fountain, senior, Vocal Ensemble

March 6 – 9 the Athens Drive Theatre and Choral Departments are produced All Shook Up, a jukebox musical inspired by the songs of Elvis Presley. The show takes place in the 50s and follows the lives of citizens in a small midwestern town. Their world gets turned upside down by a rovin’ roustabout named Chad who introduces them to romance and Elvis tunes. The Athens Drive Theatre Department was nominated for Best Musical and Best Ensemble for Triangle Rising Stars.  Actors Will Wakeford and Vishal Kasula are among the top ten finalists for best actor, and Anna Vtipil is was also nominated for best actress and is among the top ten finalists. Triangle Rising Stars takes place May 17 at 7 p.m. at DPAC.

“It takes a lot of hard work to produce a musical! Each group is equally important and everyone within those groups is important too; crew, directors, cast, and pit. Everyone has to be giving it 110% to make the musical the best it can be!” said Vtipil.

The Spring Cafe took place in the auditorium April 5 at 7 p.m. Fall cafe is similar to Spring Cafe because lots of student soloists as well as Women’s Chorus, Mixed Choir and Vocal Ensemble perform. The night opened with “Burning Love” the finale of the school musical “All Shook Up.” This was the opening number for cafe, but it was the last time the cast performed “All Shook Up” onstage with one another. Mixed Chorus, Women’s Choir and Vocal Ensemble featured well-known music such as “Take On Me”, “We Will Rock You Medley” and “Whitney Houston Medley.” While students soloists performed “I Want To Hold Your Hand” by the Beatles, “Never Enough” from “The Greatest Showman” and “Tango Maureen” from “Rent.” In between performances, Matthew Bunn promposed to Taylor Woodhouse following their performance of “Shallow” from “A Star Is Born.” The concert closed with all chorus students singing “Seasons of Love” from “Rent” which featured student soloists.

May 2 the first annual Theatre Showcase, Dancing Through The Decades, premiered to the public. The Theatre Showcase was a student-run show created, directed and choreographed by theatre III students. Admission was free but donations were accepted for charity, specifically the backpack buddies program. The show allowed the audience to travel throughout the ages including the 1920s to the present. Each era was represented through dance numbers and short scenes that represented the time period. Whether the audience was sucked into “Welcome to the 60s” from “Hairspray” or exercised to “Let’ Get Physical” the show allowed the audience to explores well-known themes in a new way. Chorus students were featured in “The Battle of the Bands” skit, which featured music from Bon Jovi, Journey, Steve Perry and Pat Benatar.

The last choral concert of the year is the Spring Concert; this showcases all three choirs as well as some students soloists. Each choir sings traditional choral pieces as well as another selection of a contrasting genre. For example, Women’s Choir is singing two selections a traditional choral piece “Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep” by Randall Thompson and “Don’t Sit Under The Apple Tree” which is contrasting in style. The Spring concert is the last concert of the year, but there are still choral placement auditions for the 2019 – 2020 school year on May 22nd – May 24th in the chorus room.

The school year ends with a choral banquet which is a time for students and teacher to look back on their memories and improvement over the past school year. Each performance provides different experiences for students and audience members. The choral selections used have varied in difficulty to help benefit some students in their musical pursuits in and outside of the classroom.

“The influence and support from the family of the department and the dedication of Mr. Santangelo to help us improve has been a big part of this dramatic change and growth. In each performance, my ability to perform has improved. I went from being terrified with my eyes closed on the stage and standing still, to smiling and enjoying the entire time I am on stage,” said Patterson.

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