Choir hosts themed show dinner for charities

Shelby Darnell, Staff Writer

The Holiday Showcase took place on Thurs Dec 6 and Fri Dec 7, showcasing the choir, band and orchestra’s talents. Family members of the students involved were invited to come sit and enjoy a meal while the event took place. The Showcase is a part show, part concert and part dinner hosted primarily by the choir but also includes band and orchestra performing songs in the background.

A large part of holiday showcase is the idea of a kingdom being in place for the show, with certain students assigned roles like queen or jester and acting on the stage while the guests eat.

“I’m the town crier, so I basically announce a bunch of things and in the beginning, I say everyone’s names,” Bailey Barton, sophomore, said.

Students had to audition for these special roles. Those who did not have a role acted as “peasants,” serving the guests their food.

“For tonight, I am a trumpet fanfare. It basically announces whenever something’s gonna happen or like the start of a song,” Brenna Arakelian, sophomore, said.

As a member of both band and choir, she participated by playing with the band the second night of the showcase as well as being the fanfare, but acted only as the trumpet fanfare the first night.

The show goes much deeper than the roles and the acting, though. The preparations for the show were extensive.

“We’ve been practicing every day for the last two months,” Kim Auzat, junior, said.

As a gypsie, Auzat was also responsible for creating items to sell to the guests. They walked around with baskets and offered their goods during the show.

“We made these last night, it took us four hours,” Auzat said.

She was selling items to make hot chocolate, accompanied by a few other gypsies, whom were also carrying baskets of chocolate. The choir, along with their new director, Christy Shaffer, did a large amount of preparation.

“There is a ton of preparation that goes into planning this event.  We had a caterer, linens, carafes for tea and wassail, centerpieces, cutlery, condiments, lights, sound, equipment, a play, props, costumes, decorations, music and parent volunteers,” Shaffer said.

Extensive preparation also went into the atmosphere of the show. There was a full lights crew at the back of the Cafeteria.

“We do a lot of planning with the coordinator [the choir director] and we ask what their setup is gonna look like and we give our suggestions to make it better, and they tell us what they want, and we combine forces,” Ryan Luedloff, senior, said.

The lights were soft, matching the light music of the orchestra in the background. The stage was made visible so that the actors would shine.

“We wanted to have the Christmas feeling; we want it to feel soft, like you’re in a restaurant where the lights are dim and it’s candlelit. We just want it to feel comfortable and at the same time a little festive,” Luedloff said.

This year Mrs. Shaffer, the new choir director,  hosting the showcase for the first time.

“[Mrs. Shaffer] has definitely planned out more going into it before and she’s got a lot of experience with technical theater so she has a better idea of what we can do and what we can’t do,” Luedloff said.

With the commons now filled with people, there was plenty of food to be provided. The Wildhorse Pub and Grill made food for the event.

“Anytime we can be part of the community, we love to be here, and this just seems like a really awesome event so we’re happy to be here,” Mandy Williams, one of the Wildwood Pub and Grill staff members who helped out at the event, said.

To match the theme of the event, they served turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes with gravy and bread and butter. Assembling this meal for everyone was not an easy task, though.

“[There was] lots of planning, lots of numbers and going through and figuring out how many portions we need,” Williams said.

At the start, of course, all of these preparations were a lot of work. The event was worth it though for most students.

“My favorite part about this is seeing everybody come together and do something for charity because it was a big chaotic mess at first, but now it’s just all coming together,” Barton said.

All proceeds from the event were split between two charities. The money went to both Dressember, a human trafficking movement, and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Overall, the show displayed the music of the school while promoting a good cause.

“I was very impressed with how well all the students performed.  They were incredible,” Shaffer said.

The choir program hosts Holiday Showcase every two years, it can be expected again in 2021.