The Student News Site of Gretna High School

Gretna Media

The Student News Site of Gretna High School

Gretna Media

The Student News Site of Gretna High School

Gretna Media

Column: The Inside Workings Of Show Choir

“Wow, I Was in That Group”
Audra Blessen
Junior Mia Yungtum performs with the Gretna Revolution show one last time.

Show choir has been a part of my life since the sixth grade. GMS show choir with Mr. Kyle Avery was much much different than the type of show choir I would participate in years later. Concerts for the school in only t-shirts and leggings turned to sparkly dresses, hair, makeup, hard-core choreography, costume changes and so much more.

Freshman year was the straight line into high school show choir and my first chance to dip my toes in this newfound water. This was the first year GHS saw choir teacher Katelyn Wallace. Doubts about a new director outside of Brandon Shostak and Pat Ribar swirled around all choirs alike. These doubts were soon to be replaced with satisfaction and like for Wallace. The theme of Evolution’s first show under Wallace were announced, and the theme of “Roller Coasters” emerged. At first, this new and different type of theme confused students, myself included, and made it hard to see what the show would even look like. But, as I have come to see, when Mrs. Wallace has a show theme, it will be seen to the other side and come out extraordinarily successful. The success of Wallace has been seen and noted through her three years of successful show choirs.

Sophomore year was not nearly as satisfying and successful as freshman year was. With the direction of the varsity group, Revolution, passed on to Wallace, Patrick Ribar who has been directing all different types of choir for 38 consecutive years, took on the direction of the junior varsity group, Evolution. This year was hard right off the bat. All choreography sessions were within a few weeks. I, and presumably many other students, forgot half the choreo within days, leading to the relearning of everything. Though this year was not the most successful, new friendships were made, and my knowledge of how to be good at show choir was furthered.

The ultimate stressor for me in the show choir process was, and still is, tryout day. When you try out for show choir, you must learn choreography, sheet music and “My Country Tis Of Thee” to show directors you are capable of being in either Evolution or Revolution. In my three years of experience, I vividly recall sitting in line and praying I won’t forget the song, dance, facials, or any other tiny detail necessary to my entry. As soon as the tryout is over, the long and excruciating wait for rosters to come out begins.

My personal experiences with tryouts are perhaps not the greatest. Tryouts for the 23-24 show choir was rough. After I was finished with my audition, I promptly went home and cried. I had run out of air during “My Country Tis Of Thee” and my voice cracked. My fear was that I would be in junior varsity show choir as a junior and have no friends. Though the show choir directors do look for the abilities of singer dancers, to sing and dance, they also look for hard working, kind and committed students, not perfect ones.

After the tryout, our show was revealed as One Last Dance, the theme that would reach many people in different schools, and even states, and change lives with its message. Little did I know, this season would be the best me and many other people would ever have.

Choreography with Stephen Todd was revolutionary. Everything he taught us had a flow to it that every other choreo that I had been taught lacked. With different types of dance styles, fast and slow, clean and flowy, this show never had a dull moment, dancing and singing alike. Being led by Wallace, along with the help of junior varsity director Dakota Mathew, we were able to nail down choreography far in advance for competition season.

The start of the season is always the most rehearsal heavy. In Revolution, the typical weekly practice schedule would be Monday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings from 6:45 – 7:50 and a night rehearsal on Tuesday. Though rehearsals were hard and tiring, the dedication and perseverance we showed during those early mornings and late nights was evident every time we performed. The desire to be successful as a show choir had a motivating effect on our group like nothing else. Even after we had won our first two competitions, Wallace would bring in clinicians such as Doran Johnson and Nick Djernes to take the musicality of the show even farther.

The first competition was Millard West Music Lives, which ended with the first, and unexpected, win of the season, along with best vocals, best choreography and best closer.

Throughout the season, unexpected twists and turns made my experience in varsity show choir an astonishing and incredible group to be a part of. During the season our director, Mrs. Wallace, preached traits of being humble and kind. Always act respectful to other schools, always stand and clap for all groups, always, always make a good impression on the hosting school.

With Millard South said and done, we moved onto Papio South Titans Classic, which ended with us taking home the awards of grand champs, best vocals, best choreo, best band, best ballad and outstanding soloist for senior Cameron Bothwell’s performance. It was a full sweep. Elkhorn South Crystal Cup, we were again grand champs, with another full sweep. At the Grand Island Senior High Islander Invitation, we took home grand champs and our third full sweep. But all good things have to come to an end, and the last competition of the season, Totino Grace, entered the forefront of everyone’s minds. We closed out the season in first place, maintaining our undefeated record.

It is my greatest pleasure to have been a part of a group as amazing as Gretna Revolution. I will never forget any one person in the show and the true awe-inspiring message it had on me and many others. Everyday I think about this group and I am absolutely amazed to be able to say, wow, I was in that group, the group with the undefeated season.

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About the Contributor
Mia Yungtum, Reporter
Mia Yungtum is a junior at Gretna High School and it is her second year in the journalism program. She serves as photographer and writer. She is involved in journalism because she likes to write and it is fun to be able to write about things going on in school. Her favorite things to write about are the arts and sports news. Outside of school she participates in golf, tennis, show choir and many others activities.

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