Show choir performance group added to vocal music curriculum for 2022-2023 school year

Group to mix singing, dancing in a class, performance format that will require acceptance through an audition process

While+at+the+Winter+Choir+Concert+on+Dec.+15%2C+2021%2C+senior+Audrey+Hoeft+performs+a+solo.+Adding+to+the+choir+classes+next+year+will+be+the+new+show+choir%3A+Mic+Drop.+The+class+will+involve+singing+and+dancing%2C+and+feature+a+variety+of+songs+from+various+genres+and+styles.

Alannah Miller

While at the Winter Choir Concert on Dec. 15, 2021, senior Audrey Hoeft performs a solo. Adding to the choir classes next year will be the new show choir: Mic Drop. The class will involve singing and dancing, and feature a variety of songs from various genres and styles.

Morgan Vehige

A typical show choir is a medley of dancing, singing, bold costumes and music to soothe the ears. For the 2022-2023 school year, Lafayette will re-introduce a show choir to its offering of vocal music performing groups. It will be called Mic Drop.

Vocal music teacher Christy Shaffer has planned to build a show choir for the last two years, but the plans never came to fruition due to a variety of outside factors like COVID-19.

“It just was never the right time and then COVID hit and we weren’t here. I wanted to make sure that when we decided it was time that we launch it with respect and all of the organization and everything in place so that it’s successful. That’s what our school deserves,” Shaffer said.

In many ways, show choir is different from the traditional Lafayette vocal music groups. Currently, choirs typically work in a choral, more traditional style of music with four part harmonies. The show choir would include a more diverse music genre, focusing generally on popular music throughout the decades. Acceptance into the group will also require an audition.

With the different style of music comes dancing with the piece and instrumentation. All of those elements combined makes a rounded show choir performance.

Sophomore Lizzie Rattenborg is part of many musical programs at Lafayette including Vox Solus, Treble Chamber choir as well as in the cast of the musical SpongeBob Squarepants. To her, show choir is another opportunity to get more music in her day. It also offers a chance to do some physical activity as well.

“I think show choir is different because you aren’t just sitting, like many classes. In some way, you can get some exercise during the school day,” Rattenborg said. “I’m excited about the genre of songs we will be singing. It [will be] different from normal choir because the songs are more like pop and musical theatre.”

For junior Noah Parks, he’s excited to buy into the program. He currently is in Concert Chorale, and was approached by Shaffer to think about auditioning.

“Ms. Shaffer actually came to me and was like ‘you can sing’ and ‘you can dance’, I don’t know how she would know that but [I went with it]. She told me that we were starting a show choir and my ears sort of perked up and I told her that I would be interested in doing it,” Parks said.

An aspect that appeals to Parks is show choir will bring him an opportunity to work on furthering his singing skills, but to work on becoming a better dancer as well.

Parks has only been at Lafayette for a year, and he views this as an opportunity for him to meet more people.

“I love meeting new people. For me, it’s always a challenge to go out and talk to people, especially now. I’m approaching the end of high school and everyone has their cliques and everything but I wanted to challenge myself and get out there,” Parks said. “It will be a community type of 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 at the thought of auditioning, she anticipates the feeling to be similar to trying out for Vox Solus, and is looking forward to it. She’s also looking forward to her fellow classmates joining yet another facet of the Lafayette choral community.

“I am slightly nervous to audition but I am not as nervous as I think people would expect. I’m used to performing and singing in front of Ms. Shaffer, so it won’t be anything new for me,” Rattenborg said. “Since it is a class that you are auditioning to be a part of, I think that off the bat it will feel different than a typical class. Vox is also a [class] that you have to audition for and Vox feels like one big friend group, so I am sure the community will be similar.”

For Shaffer, she’s eager to meet different kids from around the school and to form a family within the show choir. She’s determined to allow this class to not be a stressor on students, but for it to be a haven for them instead.

“I think it can reach a whole different community here at Lafayette because it’s not just your typical choir. So, if [students] enjoy music or enjoy singing or dancing, it’s a class. It covers a fine art credit and after that it’s considered an elective so it’s all stuff you need in a fun way to spend 90 minutes,” Shaffer said. “I just want all kids to know that they are welcome. It doesn’t have to just be theater kids and it doesn’t have to just be choir kids, it doesn’t have to be the music type kids. It can be the sports kids. It can be the yearbook kids. All kids can be a part of this.”

While having to audition does make Parks a bit nervous, he believes that other people will feel the same way, and try out nonetheless. He also believes that auditioning or no prior experience shouldn’t deter people from going, and that it will just take time for the group to grow into an amazing community.

“I am a little bit nervous. People say I can sing, but I don’t like singing in front of people. I’m one of those shower singers. People may pass me and ask if that’s me singing but I’ll shy away from it. I think the only part that I’m really nervous about is the dancing auditions,” Parks said. “I think if the people who want to do it make it a point to go out and spread the word, it will open people’s eyes. It always starts with ‘let me try this’ and then the people end up liking what they do. I’m definitely thinking we could for sure pull it off.”

To audition for Mic Drop on Feb. 28, students should sign up for Show Choir in their upcoming class registration, scan a QR code around the school or email Shaffer at shafferchristy@rsdmo.org for more information.