Carlmont Choir overcomes odds to shine – Scot Scoop News
Carlmont Choir worked together to create a memorable performance despite the difficulties associated with the absence of their conductor, Genevive Tep.
Cabaret show, which takes place annually, is primarily student-run, featuring solo artists and small ensembles. Performers choose their own music, as long as it adheres to the overall theme, and they learn it at their own pace.
“In normal concerts, it’s a fixed repertoire, but for this one, you have the freedom to choose your own song and wear whatever you want,” said Eric Zhai, co-chairman of the choir council.
In an effort to give students a chance to perform, parent volunteers helped decorate, work with sound equipment and run things behind the scenes. The experienced committee members were able to run the show with minimal fuss.
“I think everyone performed different functions; volunteer parents helped with food and kind of helped with the public. It’s a team effort,” said Heather Mannion, a parent volunteer. “Everyone did different parts of it, that’s what made it all work in the end.”
Students and performers have also worked together to help the show run smoothly behind the scenes by helping bring in audiences or working in the Carlmont Technical Theater Association (CTTA).
“Put the thing on its own, it was students. Whether it’s the kids at CTTA or the kids on the choir board or just all the kids themselves, everyone has stepped up,” said Heather Mannion.
Everyone, especially the co-chairs of the choir council, helped create the best possible show for the audience, each taking responsibility for their role.
“Our council chairmen have really strengthened their positions,” Darcy Pelham, an interpreter, said of Emily Mannion and Zhai.
Organizers hoped the show would bring together both the local community and the choir students, creating an environment in which all students could feel safe and comfortable.
“The showcase attracts a lot of kids who are really passionate about music, who are ready to step up and create that kind of community. The nervous energy of performing alone creates a bond, so I think it strengthens the choir community,” said Emily Mannion, Co-Chair of the Choir Council.
The performers were looking forward to many things about the show, but most of all they were excited about the opportunity to bond with other choir kids on campus.
“It’s a really fun event and it brings a lot of people together, so I wanted to be a part of it. I am delighted to meet new people, like the bond that is created through the shows,” said Alexia Nyholm-Goncalves, a performer.
Behind the scenes, the performers worked apart and during school time to perfect their repertoire and put on the best show possible. Soundchecks during show week took place during choir times on Wednesdays and Thursdays, including a combined two-hour pre-show rehearsal.
Many parent volunteers also contributed to the show’s success by helping with pizza runs and ticket sales, including parents whose children had already graduated from Carlmont.
“We have three parents of former students coming out of the woodwork; their kids had already graduated, but they kind of knew their way around acting and were an extra help. There were probably about 10, 12 people in total helping out in various ways,” Heather Mannion said.
Parent volunteers also tried to help fill Tep’s place by putting themselves in his shoes.
“I tried to think like Ms Tep thinks, and one of the things she would have generally done is if we had a rehearsal that was right after school and it then turned into a performance, she a category of activities she calls “parent feeding” for which parents can volunteer. So I thought the current food category was like, let’s make dinner,” Heather Mannion said.
The Carlmont Performing Arts community is greatly impacted by performance as it showcases talent on the Carlmont campus.
“I think the stronger these individual communities become at Carlmont, performing arts, including theatre, instrumental music and dance, the easier it will be and the better the overall arts program at Carlmont will be because each of these programs is so individually strong,” said Emily Mannion.