Seeing double: show choir kicks off season with back to back performances


Abby Kempf

Yesterday, January 16, RBHS show choirs officially began their competition season with a premier extravaganza for friends and parents to view. There were two performances, one at 6 and another at 8 p.m. to allow for more attendees.
“[We] did [two shows] so [we] could facilitate more people. We had really good crowds for both shows, so it was a good idea to do two shows so we could perform for more people,” Junior City Lights member Ethan Forte said. “It was also a really nice support system. We were able to raise a lot more money than if we had only done one show.”
The show was also a chance for students to practice the show with adrenaline. Sophomore Satin n’ Lace soloist Gabbi Schust had the chance to perform her rendition of Barbara Streisand’s “Don’t Rain on My Parade” from Funny Girl the Musical.
“[The premier] was great practice for the upcoming season,” Schust said. “The best part of [the premier] was getting to perform in full costume and makeup in front of an audience.”
The costumes for all three shows were designed and constructed by Victoria Mongillo. She started last June designing, but it took months before construction could begin.
“[Mike Pierson] gives me the theme and the music and I listen to the music and I start doing research online. I draw some. I look at stuff online,” Mongillo said. “Then in August I met with [Pierson] again and I pitched my plan and he says ‘Oh I like this. I don’t like that.’ Then I go back to the drawing board.”
Mongillo then has to look at her budget and decide what she can and cannot do based on this. She also has to cope with the changing wishes of the director Pierson and the Satin n’ Lace choreographer Tammy Walker.
“It’s an evolving process. Yesterday I was told that a complete change has to be made in one of the costumes,” Mongillo said. “So that’s what we are going to do for next week.”
Mongillo said between the three choirs there are 610 costume pieces, excluding shoes. This year has been “more than pretty intensive” Mongillo said because her team has constructed more than costumes this year than in past years. The addition of the freshmen choir has added to the number of costumes required.
The freshmen show choir, Southside Singers, showcased their work at the 6:00 performance, although they will not be competing in the upcoming season.

“It was also a really nice support system. We were able to raise a lot more money than if we had only done one show,” Junior Ethan Forte said. ”

Freshman Andrea Baker has enjoyed her time in Southside Singers and believes the freshmen show choir cultivates excitement in the program and serves as a nice introduction to the world of show choir.
“I think it’s a great way to get freshmen involved in the whole experience and get some great practice in what show choir will be like if they continue,” Baker said.
Baker said the level of dedication show choir requires has been high, but she believes it will pay off.
“My choir has been working on this since the end of October but the other choirs have been working on their shows since August,” Baker said. “Everyone has worked really hard, [but] it’s not over yet.”
RBHS show choirs are about to embark on their long competition season. This Saturday RBHS is hosting 18 other schools and 29 choirs in a show choir tournament, where City Lights and Satin n’ Lace will not compete, but they will however perform their shows for the other schools.
“I’m really looking forward to getting to travel and compete and see the other choirs shows,” Schust said. “We are ready to bring it.”
By Abby Kempf