City Lights raises money for the Children’s Grove in charity benefit


Elad Gov-Ari


The Performing Arts Center burst to life with songs, dances and energy as the RBHS City Lights show choir ensemble took the stage. The 35-person assembly took the spotlight for a special occasion, raising approximately $2,800 for the Children’s Grove charity.
Attempting to match the theme of the show to a local charity, show choir director Mike Pierson made his choice easily.
“Each year we take into account the theme of the show and this year we started with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention,” Pierson said. “Through Mrs. [Lesley] Thalhuber, our crisis counselor, we got in touch with a more local charity, which was the Children’s Grove.”
For veteran show choir performer, senior Anna Inslee, charity events such as these act as a great excuse to invite anyone and everyone as proceeds go to such a good cause.
“I don’t feel bad about asking people to come, because it’s for such a good cause,” Inslee said.
With each opportunity to perform, City Lights improves drastically, Inslee claims, as they assess the strengths and weaknesses of their performance.
“The [shows] that we’ve done so far, we’ve had clinics afterwards,” Inslee said. “With that, [judges] come up to us and say some things we did well and some things we did not so well and try to fix them, so we can get critiqued on something else for the next time.”
Similarly to Inslee, sophomore Hanna Weber feels the “vibe” of the occasion changes as their intentions shift to raising money, rather than competing.
“It’s a little bit of a different vibe because you know you’re performing for such a good cause,” Weber said. “For competitions it’s a little bit more tough, because you’re focusing on [performing] super clean and I feel like for this charity benefit it’s a lot about the emotion and what message we’re trying to convey rather than  on the choreography, which plays a big role in the energy of the show.”
Finally, with a successful benefit behind them, Pierson looks to the future as City Lights gear up for their next competition, Feb. 10 at Harrisonville.
“We’re getting better with every show,” Pierson said. “We’re getting better at little details and overall the show improves each and every time.”
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