Dazzling Debut

Show choir members and staff work together to prepare for their December debut


Isabel Gross, Staff Writer

Leading up to their debut on December 13, show choir members have been drilling choreography and memorizing lyrics since the first week of school, while directors work behind the scenes to perfect small details. Along with the stage crew and show band, each person does their part to ensure they perform their best.

Megan Swain has been directing show choir for eight years at MN. Prior to working here, she has directed for Millard South’s two show choirs, South On Stage and Stage One. Directing for nine years total, she has the experience she needs to lead the choral department. 

As the director of choral activities, Swain has countless duties leading up to Debut night, ranging from teaching notes and rhythms to arranging the schedules. Swain co-directs the varsity show choir Infinity alongside Sam Tomas, and oversees logistics for both Illumination and Intensity. 

In order to keep each show choir running smoothly, communication between all of the directors is key. Swain meets up often with Intensity director Nathan Wallace and Illumination director Allie Hoffmann during the school year to bounce ideas off of each other to improve their shows. 

“We’re constantly finding inspiration for our shows because we’re sitting around for hours on end watching show choir perform during the competition season,” Swain said. 

Throughout nine years of directing show choir and competition season approaching, Swain’s students have taught her how it’s important to cheer on the people around you, regardless of competition. 

“There’s no reason to be rude to those who you’re competing against because we’ve all worked really hard to create these beautiful shows,” Swain said.

With Debut night around the corner, senior and co-captain of Infinity; Deana Nguyen works at keeping up morale between her peers. Nguyen has been in show choir since the seventh grade, trying out on a whim because her friend needed an audition partner.

“I had no clue what show choir was, but I just figured I would do my friend a favor and audition with her. So by accident it’s been a part of my life for five years,” Nguyen said.

Infinity is the varsity mixed group that’s different from the other two groups. While Intensity and Illumination performances focus on a theme, Infinity’s performances act out like a play. This year Infinity’s show will be based on the story of ‘Pompeii.’

“This story stands out to me because it doesn’t glamorize death, but instead makes it beautiful in a way. It leaves the audience wondering what their own legacy is,” Nguyen said.

Like most students at MN, members of Infinity are involved in many activities, including the musical and marching band during the first half of the fall. For members involved in those activities, attending show choir practice on top of it could cause stress.

“A lot of our musical members got really tired and stressed out because they had to go from musical rehearsal right to show choir practice, which can be really difficult,” Nguyen said. 

Sophomore and Dance captain of Illumination; Grace Van Reisen takes the lead in rehearsals and makes sure no member is left behind. She and the other Dance Captains often record videos of them practicing the choreography if members are confused by certain moves. 

“It’s really important to me that every member is confident in what they’re doing. Me and the other Dance captains try to guide everyone in the right direction and always strive to improve every single rehearsal,” Reisen said.

This year, Illumination’s performance will be based on the movie, ‘Freaky Friday.’ Half of the members will be playing the mom character and the other half will be playing the daughter character. They will show the story through the music. 

“This concept stands out to me because it has a deeper meaning. It shows that in relationships it’s important to communicate because you never know what the other person is going through,” Reisen said. 

While show choir members focus on memorization and making final touches to their performances, their directors are leading them along the way. Each person in the show choir program is doing their part for their upcoming Debut.