By J1 reporter Avery Kinnison
You are standing on a stage facing a roaring audience. The spotlight shines down on you as you perform a perfectly synchronized song and dance. Marian’s show choir, Momentum, has been performing on stage since 2015. However, this year has been quite different for the show choir team.
With the spread of COVID-19, the show choir has had to make many changes to the ways that they rehearse and perform. A few of these changes include conducting rehearsals over zoom and wearing masks while dancing. Being online for rehearsals “has been kind of hard. I think it’s been a very different experience because we can’t be together and sing…but it’s still nice to be able to see everybody’s faces,” sophomore returning member Isi Racyzinski said. Although these changes may be a bit of a struggle at times, the girls of Momentum are making the best out of the situation.
A major change for the girls in show choir this year was having to audition virtually. All candidates had to learn a dance to Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling” as well as sing “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” on video and email the videos to the judges, “The audition process went very smoothly,” Momentum director Ms. Lauren Morrissey said. “We were impressed with how well everyone knew the dance, especially, and the music.”
Another big difference for Momentum is rehearsing in person. The team has been able to rehearse altogether due to the school schedule, but must socially distance throughout the entire practice. The girls were given assigned seats in the Kish Performing Arts Center, and are assigned specific spots when onstage. “Social distancing is always followed during rehearsal, we have spots marked with tape that we always stick to, and while it’s hard not being able to be close and talk to your friends, it’s better to be safe than sorry,” said Raczynski. So far, the team has been successful in maintaining the practice of social distancing throughout their rehearsals.
While COVID-19 has affected the entire team, the seniors of Momentum have been hit the hardest. “I feel that our last year in show choir has been slightly ruined, but at least we still get to be with the team,” senior returning member Murphy Mertz said. Though the seniors have struggled with having a different last year than they had hoped, they have managed to keep their spirits up.
One way the team has been able to make the year a little more fun for everyone was by holding a retreat on Friday, Oct. 17.
“I thought the retreat was so fun. It helped us bond as a team, and I hope we do another one soon,” junior show choir officer Josie Golka said. To protect the girls at the retreat, they wore masks and remained socially distanced for the entire time.
In light of all the challenges the show choir has faced this year, the team has been able to begin putting together their show for competitions. So far, the team has learned three songs and has already learned the dance to Stevie Wonder’s “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing,” choreographed by Melanie Walters. The team usually puts on a show with about five songs, including one ballad. “My favorite song that we’ve learned so far is probably ‘Rainbow’,” Mertz said. “I’m a sucker for ballads.”
As for Momentum’s competition season, the team was scheduled to compete in five different competitions in January and February. So far, three of the competitions have been canceled due to the rise in cases over the past couple of months. While the team is still hopeful that they will be able to compete, they are aware that it may not happen.
Even though the team has faced many obstacles with the spread of COVID-19, Momentum has been able to stay positive and keep their team spirit alive.