The LaGrange High School chorus on Thursday kicks off its 22nd spring concert, titled “Dancing Through Life,” with a variety of song and dance numbers.
There are 175 students who make up the chorus and have been working on the numbers for the concert in December.
“Even though we spend long hours in the auditorium, the chorus room, and our homes practicing, it’s always worth it in the end,” said student Caroline Todd, a junior. “There’s nothing like taking the final bow on Saturday night and realizing what you’ve accomplished.”
Most dances are choreographed by Debbie Bordona, who has been choreographing the show the past 22 years, but recent chorus alumna Mary Gail Golden and current student choreographers Alida Quintana, Grace Galster, Jade Williford, Marcus Bivins, Markese Bivins, Riley Penn, Anthony Huzzie, Chandler Tilley and Hannah Hale also contributed to performances.
Director Katie Westbrook said that the show utilizes a lot of chorus students who have experience in dance in community groups.
“Our community has done such a good job of making these opportunities available for young people, I wanted to showcase all they are capable of,” she said. “And a number of our students are also experiencing dance for the first time with this show, and of the choreography was a bit of a challenge at first, but it’s good to see what they’re capable of. Now they’re doing tricks and flips and different Latin footwork.”
There are several small ensembles that feature solo acts and small dance numbers. This year’s show includes chorus soloists Elyse Barnett, Jalen Smith, Will Walker, Anna Watts, Morgan Gresley, Nate Lowery, Todd, Allison Childress, MaryAynne Miller, Grayson Bailey, Natalie Kemp, Megan Hale, Katie Holbrook, Lauren Crockett, Anna Morman, Brittney McDaniel, Malcolm Stephen, Brett McLamb, and Mary Hardigree. The chorus also features a number of dance soloists.
“Spring concert has taught me self-discipline and the importance of dedication,” said Childress, a senior. “I’ve learned that even though it isn’t a sport, chorus is a team and you have to account for yourself. Being in chorus has given me confidence and opened up many doors that I would have never known about.”
Students also are involved in behind-the-scenes aspects of the show. Every student is placed on a committee that is responsible for one part of the production process, like selling tickets, designing the program cover or promoting the concert. Junior Jade Williford and senior Kaylynn Cook are production managers, leading the concert under Westbrook.
This year’s show includes more than 30 graduating seniors. A slide show and song will pay tribute to the graduating seniors at the end of the show.
Westbrook said her students have worked hard on the show and have made many strides throughout the school year as well.
“I’m really proud of them, they’re doing a fantastic job,” she said. “It’s excellent to see how far they can come from August to April.”
Musical accompaniment for the chorus will be provided by local musicians: Ashley Hawkins on piano, Jordan Barnes on guitar, Chris Barnes on bass, Robin Treadwell on saxophone and Patrick Bowie on percussion.
The show includes music and dances from musicals and operas like “Carmen,” “Footloose,” “Annie Get Your Gun,” “The Drowsy Chaperone,” “Sophisticated Lady,” “Good News,” “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” “Summer Stock,” “Star-Spangled Rhythm,” “I Can Get it for You Wholesale,” and Liza With a Z.” Also included is the music of artists like Lee Ann Womack, The Four Tops, Dixie Chicks, Lady GaGa, Billy Joel and The Jacksons.
“People need to get their tickets” Westbrook said. “If you’ve never seen the show before, you’re in for a treat.”
•Dancing Through Life will show Thursday and Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at 8 p.m. in the LHS Auditorium. Reserved tickets may be purchased from any chorus member or by calling the LaGrange High School office at 706-883-1590. Balcony tickets will be sold at the door for $10.