'Hours of work are worth it' for show choir participants

February 25, 2012|By ROXANN MILLER |
  • The Washington High School Show Choir performs to "Rhythm Nation" during Saturday's Martinsburg (W.Va.) High School Concert and Show Choir Festival.
By Roxann Miller

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Angela Pittinger has been practicing her routine since last month, but dealing with strained vocal chords and blistered feet would be worth the sacrifice if her school walked away with a trophy at this weekend’s Martinsburg High School Concert and Show Choir Festival.

Pittinger, the dance captain at Washington High School in Charles Town, W.Va., said the hours of work are worth it.

“I’d love to take a trophy back to school. But no matter if we win or lose, at the end of the day, everybody loves show choir,” the 18-year-old senior said as she practiced some last-minute dance moves.

Show and concert choirs lifted their voices in song Friday and Saturday in Martinsburg High School’s auditorium to win the award for best choirs among the schools competing.

The Jefferson High School women’s ensemble won first place among the concert choirs; Thurmont (Md.) Middle School won first place in the middle-school concert choir competition; and Martinsburg South Middle School was first among the show choirs, said Linda Snyder, festival organizer and Martinsburg High School choral director.

Several thousand people pack the high school auditorium every year.

“It’s a big deal here because it brings high school students in the Tri-State area together,” Snyder said.

The event raises about $15,000 annually to benefit the Martinsburg High School Good Times Show Choir.

Jessica Shriver, choral director at Hedgesville (W.Va.) High School, brought 25 members of her show choir on Saturday.

“This particular event is huge because this is close to our hometown,” Shriver said. “So I think the girls take this as we’re representing this area, so they want to do the very best they can.”

They performed three 1940s numbers during their eight-minute performance.

“They learn discipline, showmanship and teamwork as a member of the show choir,” Shriver said.

While it would mean a lot to take a trophy back to the school, Shriver said the show choir would be happy just to do a good job.

Missy Castle’s son attends Washington High School and performs in show choir.

“I’m very surprised by the student’s caliber of performance. I thoroughly enjoyed the show,” Castle said.

This is her son Mark’s first year performing, but he loves show choir.

“I’m so proud of him and surprised by all the performers — they were so professional,” she said.

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