By Riana Buchman, Sports Editor
// Instead of flying to Chicago or New York City to enjoy a Broadway show, many students gathered in the Acalanes Performing Arts Center to watch the annual Pops Concert, themed “Broadway and Beyond,” on May 23 and 25.
Student choir members covered 26 songs from popular shows such as Dear Evan Hansen, Wicked, and The Lion King, along with a few songs out of the musical theatre mix. Choir teacher Bruce Lengacher did not hesitate when picking a theme this year.
“We have a lot of my students that are really big musical geeks – in a good way. Junior Michaela Sasner could tell you who won the Tony for best show since they’ve been given. Sophomore Gracie Guichard knows everything about everything with new shows and the actors,” Lengacher said.
On opening night, the mass choirs started off with a fitting “On Broadway” performance from Smokey Joe’s Cafe. However, the “beyond” portion of the title enabled students to branch out to other songs such as Kelly Clarkson’s “Moment Like This”, Amy Winehouse’s “Valerie”, and the Backstreet Boys’ “I Want It That Way”.
Every choir prepares intensely before the annual Pops concert, putting in hours upon hours of work to make the show spectacular. A majority of the production is run by the students, deciding final picks for the playbill and student choreographers directing each dance move. Among a few of the student choreographers included senior Cecily Kenney, junior Conrad Rocha, senior Nicole Gagliardi, and senior Ophelia Luchin.
“I pick the opener, the closer, and the theme, but they decide what each ensemble does and audition with the songs that they want to sing,” Lengacher said.
The process for Pops is always the same: the choirs brainstorm songs they want to perform and vote to determine winning titles. After that, they move into full swing, learning every song and dances that accompany each.
“We start right after the spring concert and spend a little less than a month practicing every day for Pops, learning the music and choreography,” Junior Kate Gilberd said. Gilberd performed in Concert Choir, Bella Voce, an acapella group called Harmonix, and a duet with junior Claire Levinson during the show.
Like Gilberd, some choir members have been in the Pops concert since their freshmen year. However, this was junior Fiona Warburton’s first time in Pops.
“I took part in all the mass pieces, a solo called “A Fine, Fine Line” from Avenue Q, and a duet with Michaela Sasner called “You’re the Top” from Anything Goes,” Warburton said.
For many, the concert was memorable thanks to numerous, unique acts. Whether it was Chorale’s rendition of Grease’s ‘Summer Nights’, Concert Choir’s ‘Another Day of Sun’, or the Innuendoes’ interpretation of The Weather Girls’ “It’s Raining Men”, the entertainment never stopped.
“One of the student’s mother who’s seen five or six of these said this is her favorite one so far,” Lengacher said.