Prime Time Different Than Most

Home Show Choir Competition Hosted During Pandemic

Moving the performers, Faith Elizabeth (21) performs her solo “Strike Up The Band”. “I’m really grateful to say that I sing the solo in our swing number,” Elizabeth said. “The song highlights how united our nation can become with a simple melody.” Elizabeth is very appreciative that she gets to share a message that means alot.

If a visitor came to GHS any other year on a Saturday morning in early January, it would be bustling with people coming in and out and getting ready to perform at the show choir competition, Primetime. But this year, the competition experience for show choirs was very different. With COVID-19 restrictions in place, the directors of both show choirs Mr. Patrick Ribar and Mr. Brandon Shostak made a decision to host Primetime. With creative planning they were ready to host a new and improved COVID-19 friendly showcase of seven groups including Evolution and Revolution on Jan. 16th.
“Primetime will be different this year, we will have fewer groups and we are changing the format to a workshop rather than a competition.” Mr. Ribar said. “The workshop is trying to give choir members an opportunity to perform and yet stay away from the 800 people who usually attend the competition along with being in the halls.”
Each school that came to Gretna’s Primetime was put into their own “bubble” either in the choir room or the band room. In past years, up to 20 groups would come to perform, but this year there were only five. Usually, the lunchroom cafeteria would be open for watchers and performers to buy food, drinks and desserts. A week before Primetime members of both groups would be sorted to randomly host a different school; they would be in charge of decorating the school’s room and getting the groups to the stage on time. At every show choir competition, attendees were bound to find their room decorated according to their show’s theme; that did not happen this year. Instead, every group came at a certain time, performed at a certain time and left the next hour. The directors made this policy in hopes of keeping everything running smoothly with little exposure.
“Normally you meet the school you’re hosting outside the school, stamp their hand and give them a quick tour of the school,” Mr. Shostak said. “The schools coming this year are Thomas Jefferson, Skutt, Glenwood and Grand Island.”
Evolution and Revolution both experience stress. It has been a new challenge for the teams to try their best despite COVID-19. The members of both groups have had to have positive mindsets in order to get through the year. Before Evolution performed for Primetime, Mr. Shostak led a breathing exercise to get nerves and muscles calmed.
“Before going on stage I try not to think about the worries I have for the show,” sophomore Noah Mahin said. “If I begin to get nervous I try to stay positive and talk it out with people.”
With the optimistic and open mindsets of students and teachers involved with show choir, Primetime happened on schedule. Precautions were taken and everything ran as smoothly as it could. Evolution and Revolution plan on attending four other competitions during their season which ends in March.