Raise the Curtain

Presenting Millard West High School Show Choirs

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Raise the Curtain

Genna Platte, Staff Writer

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Millard West Show Choirs master and perfect their show from August until competition season begins early 2019. Performers work until their dance routines look clean and well rehearsed. They learn how to harmonize with each other and their teamwork makes the music come alive.

Each group puts in a tremendous amount of hours every week during rehearsals. Swing Cats usually practice approximately three and a half hours each rehearsal towards the beginning of the year and about four hours during the normal rehearsal schedule. Uptown girls put in about three hours towards the beginning and work up to five hours a day as competition season nears. West in the Groove  has roughly three and a half hour rehearsals and then it goes up to six hours a day as the season progresses.

“We have to set aside time at the beginning to learn the notes and spend time actually learning the dance,” choir director Zack Bjornsen said. “After that is when we work on detailing and working on specific parts that need improvements. Towards the end is when we teach how to transition and when to transition.”

Choreographers help teach the dances as well and help the students clean anything up. Each group has a different choreographer that helps them. Learning the dances and songs at the beginning is very difficult, yet these students are able to do it.

“I’d say choreography is the hardest part for me at the beginning because it can be really complex but it’s such a good feeling once you have learned it all,” senior Victoria White said.  “I love getting to perform the show for the first time.”

Every group comes together as a team throughout the year. They are a community that works well together and would do anything for each other. Each group has multiple bondings throughout the year so they can connect on a deeper level.

“My favorite part is the family environment,” Bjornsen said. “I love to watch others offer to help each other and support one another. “During circle time we get to know each other and we just feel a family love for everyone.”

With each group comes a unique quality. Each person brings something different to the table. Every year there are new faces from different schools in Swing Cats. The students that have been in the group before usually teach the freshman how things work and how they are supposed to do things. In Uptown Girls there are new and returning faces so it’s just a matter of getting to know each other and learning how to work well with each other. West in the Groove is considered to be the “big show” out of the three groups.

“I honestly don’t think I would change anything about my group,” senior Victoria White said. “I love Uptown and everyone in it. We have an amazing group this year.”

Some of the dances and songs can be so complex that some of the performers would prefer it if they started learning the routines sooner than August.

“I would want to start learning the dance and music in the summer instead of during the school year,” junior Sydney Fuhrman said.

All and all, show choir is a time consuming activity that has very talented people and the show would not go on without them. 

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