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Concert Choir Prepares for Hairspray During Hell Week

By: Jillian Dudley




Each and every year, Waynesboro’s Concert Choir puts on a variety show. This show consists of the group singing formal songs, solo acts, and then a cover of a famous musical. The week before the shows, choir puts in hours of hard work, which they call Hell Week.

“We call it Hell Week because we take our 20 minute medley and learn all the choreography in just 4 days,” said Senior choir member, Chelsie Burks.

Although students may refer to it as Hell Week because typically no student wants to be in school when they do not have to be, the choir members said they actually enjoy it, so it is kind of a contradictory title.

“The main purpose of this preparatory week is to put on the best show possible,” said Senior, Jordan Marion. “We rehearse our formal pieces, acts, performance medley, and stage directions, so things could get hectic without this preparations.”

On average, the choir puts in 5 hours everyday after school. Some nights they stay as late as 11:00. During this week, students are taught by their choreographers, also known as the C-team to learn the dance moves to their medley. This an also an opportunity for members to try out for solos and acts to showcase their musical talents.

“We try to get the feel of how the concert is going to be,” said Junior, Ariana Coffey. “On our last night of Hell Week, which is Thursday, we run through the whole show with a complete dress rehearsal. Depending on if you’re doing an act or not, you’ll be at the school from either 6:00-9:00pm. or 10:00pm or maybe even later.”

Luke Allen, a senior in choir, says that all the hard work in Hell Week pays off because it is fun being able to be with everyone. Many bonds and friendships are created through this week spent working their butts off for a perfect show.

Choir members say they love this week because it is different from just singing in the classroom. During these late night practices, the group is able to enjoy their time laughing, dancing, and joking around with one another while preparing for their show.

This year, the choir will be performing a medley of songs from the musical, Hairspray. Marion said he is thrilled to be doing this medley because Hairspray is a musical that is very upbeat and includes a lot of movement.

“I am so excited for Hairspray because it’s actually one of my dream musicals to be in or choreograph,” said Burks. “My favorite song is “You Can’t Stop The Beat,” because we put in some harder choreography; it’s already starting to look good. It’s also a very high energy song and we have a little surprise in it.”

“My favorite song is “Welcome to the 60’s” and I’m hoping to get a solo in it,” said Coffey.

Another part of the show is when choir members get perform their own acts that they picked out. Marion will be doing a solo of John Mayer’s “Stop This Train,” and Burks will be singing “Can’t Help Falling in Love” with Drew Ledford. Coffey is doing two acts in the concert. She’s singing “The Chain” by Ingrid Michaelson with Kailee Louk and also Adele’s “Chasing Pavements” with Victoria Porter.

For the seniors of concert choir, this will be there last Variety ever. Burks said she is feeling a few different emotions. While she is feeling relieved that she does not have anymore intense weeks to teach choreography, she is also sad that this is her last week of getting to spend a large amount of time with her friends and choreographing the show.

“It’s definitely emotional to be participating in my last variety show and Hell Week, “ said Marion. “There’s really no way to describe how us seniors feel knowing our time with choir is limited, but we try to make the best of it. The music education department and choir of Waynesboro has changed our lives and helped us appreciate music more in depth.”

“Throughout my experiences during Hell Week with my choir I have learned that regardless of the differences we share as individuals, we are all alike when we are brought together by music,” said Marion.

Concert Choir will be performing their shows this Saturday, March 21st at 7:00pm and also this Sunday, March 22nd at 3:00pm. Come out this weekend to support your Waynesboro Concert Choir and see them perform selections from the famous musical, Hairspray.

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