Group to mix singing, dancing in a class, performance format which will require acceptance through an audition process
A typical show choir is a mix of dancing, singing, bold costumes and music to soothe the ears. For the 2022-2023 school year, Lafayette will reintroduce a show choir to its offer of vocal music performing groups. It will be called Mic Drop.
Vocal music teacher Christy Shaffer planned to build a show choir for the past two years, but the plans never materialized due to various outside factors like COVID-19.
“It was just never the right time, then COVID hit and we weren’t there. I wanted to make sure that when we decided it was time to launch it with respect and all the organization and everything in place to make it a success. This is what our school deserves,” Shaffer said.
In many ways, the show choir is different from traditional Lafayette vocal music groups. Currently, choirs generally work in a more traditional style of choral music with four-part harmonies. The show’s choir would include a more diverse musical genre, typically focusing on popular music over the decades. Acceptance into the group will also require an audition.
With the different style of music comes the dance with the piece and the instrumentation. All of these elements combined form a rounded show choir performance.
Sophomore Lizzie Rattenborg is part of many musical programs in Lafayette including Vox Solus, Treble Chamber choir as well as in the cast of the musical Sponge Bob SquarePants. For her, the show choir is another opportunity to have more music in her day. It also offers the opportunity to do physical activity.
“I think the show choir is different because you’re not just sitting down, like in many classes. In a way, you can exercise during the school day,” Rattenborg said. “I’m excited about the kind of songs we’re going to sing. This [will be] different from a normal choir because the songs are more like pop and musical theatre.
For junior Noah Parks, he is thrilled to participate in the program. He is currently in Concert Chorale and was approached by Shaffer to think about auditioning.
“Mrs. Shaffer came up to me and said ‘you can sing’ and ‘you can dance’, I don’t know how she would know that but [I went with it]. She told me we were starting a show choir and my ears kind of perked up and I told her I’d be interested in doing it,” Parks said.
One aspect that appeals to Parks is that the show choir will give him the opportunity to work on improving his singing skills, but also to work on becoming a better dancer.
Parks has only been in Lafayette for a year and he sees this as an opportunity for him to meet more people.
“I love meeting new people. For me, it’s always a challenge to get out and talk to people, especially now. I’m nearing the end of high school and everyone has their cliques and everything, but I wanted challenge myself and go out,” Parks said. “It’s going to be a community-type thing. It teaches you how to dance, and that’s something I’m going to need because I can’t dance anymore.
Although Rattenborg is slightly nervous about auditioning, she expects the feeling to be similar to trying out for Vox Solus, and she looks forward to it. She also looks forward to her classmates joining another side of the Lafayette choral community.
“I’m a little nervous about auditioning, but I’m not as nervous as I think people would expect. I’m used to performing and singing in front of Ms. will be nothing new to me,” Rattenborg said. “Since this is a class you audition to be in, I think initially it will feel different than a typical class. Vox is also a [class] who you have to audition for and Vox feels like a great group of friends, so I’m sure the community will be similar.
For Shaffer, she looks forward to meeting different kids at school and forming a family in the show’s choir. She is determined to allow this class not to be a stressor for the students, but rather a haven for them.
“I think it can reach a whole different community here in Lafayette because it’s not just a typical choir. So if [students] listen to music or sing or dance, it’s a class. It covers a fine arts credit and after that it’s considered elective, so that’s all you need in a fun way to get 90 minutes through,” Shaffer said. “I just want all the kids to know they’re welcome. It doesn’t have to be just theater kids and it doesn’t have to be just choir kids, it doesn’t have to be music type kids. It can be sports children. These can be the children of the directory. All children can be part of it. »
Although having to audition makes Parks a bit nervous, he thinks other people will feel the same and give it a try nonetheless. He also thinks that auditioning or having no previous experience shouldn’t deter people from going, and that it will just take time for the band to grow into an amazing community.
“I’m a little nervous. People say I can sing, but I don’t like to sing in front of people. I’m one of those shower singers. People can walk past me and ask me if I’m the one singing, but I won’t. I think the only part that makes me really nervous is the dance auditions,” Parks said. “I think if people who want to do this make it a point to come out and spread the word, it will open people’s eyes. It always starts with “let me try this” and then people end up loving what they do. I really think we could definitely make it happen.
To audition for Mic Drop on February 28, students must register for Show Choir on their next class registration, scan a QR code in the school, or email Shaffer at [email protected] for more information.