Marian’s Momentum choir stays strong through a turbulent season

FrannieCihunka

The COVID-19 pandemic took many things from the world this year. However, when Marian girls returned to school, many athletes were lucky enough to keep a semi-full season. The musical even returned for the spring. Unfortunately, the Marian Momentum show choir did not have that chance. Most years, the choir goes to four to five competitions a season, but each of them were cancelled to keep students safe. Luckily, they got to show off their hard work and talent at their showcase on March 1. However, it was a long road to get performance ready. 

When the pandemic hit last year, director Ms. Lauren Morrissey, assistant director Mrs. Michelle Delisi and accompanist Mr. Tim DiBlasi knew they couldn’t cancel the season. “It wasn’t ever a decision to not have show choir at all,” Morrissey said. “We were going to do something, even if we didn’t know what we were going to work towards regardless of all the parameters throughout the year. And I had a really good idea for the show.” 

Momentum’s season started with Zoom meetings in August of 2020. The group had to learn their set virtually and separated. Hybrid rehearsals presented a new challenge when the group had to work on their first dance with both dance captains in one half of the alphabet. Junior Ashley Doehner served as a dance captain with junior Josie Golka.

 “The hardest part was that we were both A-L, so on M-Z days, they really didn’t have anyone as an elected leader,” Doehner said. “A bunch of girls did step up and learn the dances, but it’s hard to learn without an appointed dance captain to help you out.” As dance captains, Doehner and Golka learn the dances inside and out and help teach them to the team.

Motivating the team was difficult for the directors, dance captains and officers. Freshman Lily Hanna had a difficult time grasping what a normal season was like in a year of masks and plastic desk shields. “The most challenging part for me was finding motivation because we didn’t have the normal competition and  audience that we would’ve had,” Hanna said. “I motivated myself by telling myself to not let the other girls down because it was their show too; it wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t work as hard as they did.”

Marian’s Momentum Show Choir. Front Row: Erin Hansen, Abi Howard, Josie Golka, Margaret Kelly, Katie McKeon, Riya Kumar, Isabella Olguin Summers, Jadin Martinez. Middle Row: Bella Beck, Lily Hanna, Ellie Peter, Shelby Gerken, Hailey Eriksen, Hillary Adovlo, Isi Raczynski, Avery Kinnison, Aja Smith. Back Row: Murphy Mertz, Gabriella Roche, Macaire Harr, Frannie Cihunka, Ashley Doehner, Katie Rodis, Meredith Bailey, Tessa Brooks. Not pictured: Alana Kerr. Band: Nick Swoboda, Mr. Tim DiBlasi, Josh Bell, Maddie Genoways, John Heldridge, Matt Kielian. Director: Ms. Lauren Morrissey. Assistant Director Mrs. Michelle Delisi. Photo by Bailey Kollasch

New leadership positions were added to the team this year. The directors chose four spirit captains to recognize the hard work of team members and keep everyone motivated. Junior Bella Beck was a spirit captain this year and described the role of spirit captain as “doing everything they can to motivate the show choir girls.” Every month the spirit captains recognized three or four girls who practiced and put in the extra work. “It’s all just to help them believe in themselves,” Beck said.

The March 1 showcase was the best part of the season for both the directors and student leaders. “I just love performing,” Doehner said. “There’s nothing like that adrenaline rush of getting on stage. It was sad because we only got to perform that show once, but it was really fun to get back out on stage after so long.”

Auditions for next year will be held April 12-15, and more information will be shared as the time comes nearer. Morrissey wants the Marian community to know how important the connections between the team members are. “I want the Marian community to know that it’s just a lot of fun. Show choir has a long season, so the team’s together a long time. It becomes a part of your life and your day, and therefore the team gets really close. There’s no division, no varsity or junior varsity; everybody’s giving their all the whole time to both the performing and the teamwork.”

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The Network is the student newspaper of Marian High School, Nebraska's only Class A College-Preparatory School for young women.

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