Choir prepares for performances, convention

Singers, actors begin rehearsal for ‘Cinderella’


Caroline Green

Sophomore Ivy Jones sings a song from the musical “Cinderella” during her audition. All choir students interested in a role in the musical auditioned during class.

Senior choir member and thespian president Thomas Bryant said he felt the choir’s hard work paid off when they were chosen to participate in the Minnesota Music Educators Association convention, taking place Feb. 22-24.

“It’s an honor to be a part of that. It’s so cool and it’s reflective of the good work we put in for choir last year to make it into that this year,” Bryant said.

Choir director John Myszkowski said he chose “Cinderella” as the winter musical because of the Minnesota Music Educators Association (MMEA) convention.

“‘(Cinderella)’ is a little bit easier because we are going to the MMEA convention this year, and that performance is the week before we open so I picked this intentionally because it’s a little bit easier, but a fun show,” Myszkowski said.

According to Myszkowski, many aspects of the show will make it easier for the performers to learn.

“The chorus parts are not as difficult, the vocals are not as difficult, so it should be easier to learn, easier to memorize,” Myszkowski said. “The demands for storyline and scene and stuff like that and everything is simpler. It’s still a fun show, it’s just pretty straightforward.”

Myszkowski said he sent in a recording last spring to audition for the MMEA convention.

“You have to audition and we’re one of only four high school choirs that got in. It’s a big deal so we have to balance that performance with the ‘Cinderella’ performances,” Myszkowski said.

Bryant said he felt positive coming out of choir auditions.

“Auditions for the choir shows are always exciting because you get to see a lot of people audition, and I think they went really well,” Bryant said. “We saw a lot of really great people.”

Myszkowski said during auditions he looked for students who could diversify the roles.

“We looked for people who could do a unique spin on the characters and not necessarily do what we as white, middle class, suburban people norm ‘Cinderella’ to be,” Myszkowski said. “We looked for people who could twist it up a bit.”

Myszkowski said he felt impressed with this year’s group of auditionees, with more than half the choir auditioning. He said students auditioned in front of the class.

“They had to sing in front of the class. They could pick anything they wanted to, the range should match characters they were especially interested in, and then they did scenes together in front of the class,” Myszkowski said.

Bryant said this winter musical will stand out because of its popularity.

“I think (this show) is different from shows past because it’s ‘Cinderella;’ it’s such an iconic story that the audience will know,” Bryant said.