The Monday after Thanksgiving break dawned dreary and full of rain, but inside Mrs. Cosby’s first block Show Choir class at Urbana High, energy was high. The 42 students who comprise the Urbana High School Soaring Sensations were hard at work perfecting numbers for their first-ever Show Choir Gala, set to debut on the UHS stage on Wednesday, Dec. 12 at 7 p.m.
The Show Choir Gala is an idea borrowed from Tuscarora High School, said Choir Director Alicia Cosby. She spoke to Tuscarora’s choir director, Terry Moore, and their student leadership for ideas on what she might add to the UHS program to give Urbana’s Show Choir more prominence.
“This is a night just for us,” Cosby said, noting that other UHS Show Choir performances are shared with other school music groups.
Last year, Urbana’s Show Choir performed three times. “It’s a lot of work to only perform a few times,” Cosby said. This year, the Soaring Sensations are on track to perform six times—and the half-year program will continue in another form, with 90-minute afterschool practices every other Monday through the rest of the year.
This year’s Show Choir sets were created by senior choreographers Bridget O’Brien, Zoe Thomas and Tommy Truitt n consultation with Cosby. The night of the Show Choir Gala will feature the Soaring Sensations’ circus-themed set. Its storyline stars freshman Spencer Whims as a young man who wants to join the circus. Numbers include “Greatest Show,” “Magic to Do,” “Corner of the Sky,” “Creep,” “This Is Me” and “I’m Still Standing.” The Show Choir worked with guest teachers from the local circus training club Theatricks! to include some of the circus arts like plate spinning and juggling into its performance.
Every detail is important. “Words need to be a little louder,” said Truitt on Monday morning. “The around turn needs to be fixed. … It’s not in sync. … The look needs to be fixed.”
“You still looked like dogs at the end (of ‘Creep’), not like demons. You have to commit to that,” Thomas said.
Thomas and Truitt are 3- and 4-year Show Choir veterans, but this year is their first as choreographers. Truitt is looking forward to “showing our vision to people. … It was a lot of hard work but fun to see it all come together.”
Both said “I’m Still Standing” is their favorite number in the set. “It’s high energy and fast paced,” said Thomas.
“It’s a blast,” said Truitt.
In addition to the circus-themed set, Soaring Sensations will perform a set prepared for adjudication, featuring “Corner of the Sky,” The Night Shall Be Filled With Music” and Shut de Do,” as well as a mini-holiday set. Joining the Show Choir will be the UHS Chamber Ensemble performing its adjudication set, and students offering dance pieces and vocal and instrumental solos, duets and small group acts.
The Show Choir Gala is a fundraiser for the UHS Choral program. Tickets are $5 in advance and $8 at the door.