Melodies and harmonies intertwined throughout the Michigan City High School auditorium on Friday during the choral program’s annual Showcase. The event featured members of the choral program’s Treble Chorale and City Singers singing and dancing to songs they have been preparing throughout the year. Several members also performed solos.
“This is kind of a big conglomeration of the whole year and everything we’ve done all year,” said choral director Michelle Howisen. “They worked really, really hard.”
The songs included Broadway show tunes from musicals like Rent, popular singles from the likes of Adele and Amy Winehouse, and classical pieces the singers performed at competitions throughout the year. Brian Thomas, father of junior Bria Thomas, especially enjoyed the uniqueness of the classical pieces.
“We laughed listening to her sing in the shower, because in the beginning I didn’t really understand the music,” he said.
The performers have made massive improvements from the beginning of the year. They noticed, and so did their parents.
“It was absolutely beautiful to see them grow from the beginning of the year to now,” Thomas said. “It’s been a really good season. We’ve been to every concert, and the treble choir has really improved. And some of those solos were outstanding.”
Videos of graduating seniors recalling their favorite memories played between the songs. Memories revolved around spending time together and traveling to competitions and festivals.
“Just hanging out and singing with friends is so much fun,” said senior Mariseann Beck. “We’re like one big happy family. This class is deep in my heart, and I really love it.”
The biggest tradition for the spring Showcase is the final song, “May the Music Never End.” MCHS choral alumni in attendance are always invited onstage to sing along, and one graduating senior is chosen to conduct the song.
“The lyrics literally just sum up everything about our choral program about how we build memories together,” Howisen said. “It says don’t ever let music die in your life.”
The gift of conducting the last song is also known as the “Golden Baton.” Boxes with each senior’s name sat outside the auditorium, and the winner was chosen based on whose box collected the most donations, all of which benefitted the program, throughout the evening.
This year’s Golden Baton winner was senior Lauren Werner, and altogether the seniors collected $413 in donations throughout the program.
The singers presented flowers and a group hug to Howisen, and after the final curtain closed, they flooded the hallway with tear-stained faces to greet their families and friends. Underclassmen held the seniors in tight embraces as the seniors thought back on their MCHS choral journey.
“They worked hard together,” Howisen said. “They encourage each other, they build each other, they help each other, and they always try to make sure they bring out the best in each other.”
For more information about Michigan City High School, please visit https://www.mcas.k12.in.us/MCHS.
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