VMA Students Excited and Ready for the Show Choir SeasonMonday, March 01, 2004 By CHRISTINA GOSS & KEVIN GUINN
Add together sequins, glitter, hairspray, creative costumes, a competitive spirit, and an overall good time. What do you get? How about an incredible season for the choir students at Burroughs? After months of hard work and dedication, the Vocal Music Association is ready to show off their talent! During the summer, director Mary Rago and choreographers Jen Oundjian, Jen Porter, Brendan Jennings and Bonnie Jensen put their heads together in order to create incredible shows for the five competing choirs at Burroughs: Decibelles, Sound Waves, Men@Work, Sound Sensations and Powerhouse. Since the start of the school year, all choirs have balancing learning classical music for the holiday concert and contemporary music for the spring shows. One weekend in October was spent in the mountains where the groups learned songs and dances. Once December came around, the VMA students were intently pouring tons of energy into their shows with the anticipation of amazing the judges at the competitions they will be attending this year. Another camp was held the weekend of January 9th specifically for Powerhouse and Sound Sensations, since these groups compete first in the show choir season. Rehearsals will continue throughout the year to achieve perfection in the shows, but the overall teaching is finished. Decibelles, the intermediate womens choir, have been working extremely hard to complete their show. Their weekly dance rehearsals with choreographer Bonnie Jensen have prepared them for a fun-filled performance! Songs such as “ABC,” “Changes,” and “Growing Up” all are part of their theme “From the Cradle to the Stage!” They are always a delight to watch, so don’t miss them. Burroughs’ intermediate mixed choir, Sound Waves, is ready and anxious to compete. These eager choir students are ready to make a lasting impression at the competitions they will be going to this year. Thanks to the creativity of Jen Porter, this choir is sure to have a great season! Songs such as “Maniac” and “Ballroom Blitz” are real crowd pleasers. Don’t worry ladies, we haven’t forgotten about Men@Work, the all-male choir here at Burroughs. Guys in Powerhouse and Sound Waves are strongly encouraged to participate in this incredible ensemble that meets after school once a week. This choir is directed and choreographed by Burroughs alumnus Brendan Jennings. This group came off an incredible season of winning first place, musicianship, and showmanship, and is sure to blow everyone away. “People Change” as performed by Alex Lenarsky and the hilarious “Ninja Rap,” based on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles theme song, add to the essence of their incredible show. “There is a unique sound when all males are singing. It is a sound that can never be achieved in a full mixed choir. There are many talents that blossom when the girls aren’t around and people’s personalities grow when there are no expectations,” says Corey Hidalgo, the dance captain of Men@Work. Trust us, you don’t want to miss this dynamic group! The soulful ladies of the Sound Sensations had a strong, consistent season last year both in Southern California and in New York City at the Showstoppers National Show Choir competition of winning third place and musicianship. This year, Brenda Grate and Marissa Holmes are sure to amaze the crowd with their solos in the set. As a whole, the choir is ready to show the other schools they have what it takes to win first place. In the words of Sasha Lippman, “Don’t be fooled by our pretty curly hair, because we are 50 girls ready to kick some butt!” Powerhouse, the advanced mixed choir, and also the highest choir in the school, is ready to show off what they got. Their show has much potential this year. Jen Oundjian, another Burroughs graduate and assistant director/chorographer for Powerhouse, is proud of the set she has helped create. There are many surprises this year that will make the audience sit on the edge of their seats. Tenor 1 section leader J.D. Rees said “The best part is how far out on a limb we’re going. Jen Oundjian is so crazy and far out there, that it often ends up being a hit or miss idea for the set, and this year is going to be a major home run.” The soloists this year are powerful, especially freshman Agina Alvarez who shines in the choir’s power ballad of Christina Aguilera’s “Soar.” “She has the voice of an angel,” says fellow Powerhouse member Robert Bergfeld. Other featured soloists in this set include John Scoville, Mel Olivares, Meggie Claus, Ariana Lenarsky, and Alex Lenarsky. As of yet, Jared Hentz, hasn’t received a solo, when last year he had several in every choir he participated in. That could change as not all solos are assigned yet. This choir is ready to maintain their first place winning streak from last year’s show choir season. Powerhouse is competing at many Southern California competitions as well as the Showstoppers competition that will be held in Chicago. “We always have something different to bring to the table, and that helps make every year fresh and exciting,” says junior Cerita Bickelmann. In case anyone is interested in seeing these choirs compete against other schools in Southern California, pay attention to these upcoming dates: Los Alamitos competition on March 6th (all choirs), Hart H.S. competition on March 13th (all choirs), Arcadia competition on March 19th (Powerhouse and Sound Waves), Brea Olinda Womens competition on March 20th (Sound Sensations) and the final competition of the year will be held in Chula Vista on April 23rd (Sound Waves, Decibelles, and Men@Work) and April 24th (Powerhouse and Sound Sensations). The ultimate show of the year, Pop Show, will be celebrating its 25th year, so donâ€™t miss out! Due to the auditorium being under construction, Pop Show will be held at Luther Middle School from February 26 - 29, 2004. This event showcases all choirs and several student produced ensembles that should not be missed! Stay tuned for further details. For more information, please visit www.jbhsvma.com.