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Choir puts on ‘Unplugged,’ annual Follies recital

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The lights in the audience dim as the stage lights brighten, illuminating the rows of students spilling off the stage. A collective intake of breath, a suspended silence. Then the singing begins, pure and in perfect harmony.

The choir performed its spring show, Follies “Unplugged,” in the Performing Arts Center on May 20 at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. It was an entirely acoustic performance showcasing the students’ vocal skills in solos, acappella small groups, and as a whole.

“We had to audition for the group songs,” choir co-president senior Hope Lawrence said. “I just got a group together with my friends. At first it was really big but then we split into two.”

Lawrence was a member of the group that performed “The Evolution of Beyonce,” an a capella mash up of the star’s songs. The part of the group that split off performed “Billie Jean” a capella, complete with Jackson’s signature white gloves and dance moves. The crowd loved both performances, loudly cheering whenever there was a solo. The perfect harmonies were amazing.

“It was really cool seeing it come together,” Lawrence said. “Seeing the crowd enjoy it was cool, and the costumes were fun.”
An all-girl group performed an a capella version of “Royals” by Lorde. They were all dressed in white and positioned around several of the girls who were sitting in chairs; together with their snapping it conveyed the attitude of the song.

Choir co-president senior Zach Akinnola sang “Black and Gold” by Sam Sparro, a bluesy heartfelt song that allowed his vocal skills to shine. Despite difficulties with a microphone, he transitioned seamlessly when he was handed a new one, demonstrating his performing abilities.

Relying solely on background piano and her own powerful voice, senior Sravani Pathuru’s rendition of the Rolling Stones’ “Wild Horses” gave me chills and even brought me to tears; the clarity and emotion of every note was truly moving.

Showcasing her distinctive style, senior Aubrey Cobern sang “Oh, Darling” by the Beatles. Her effortlessly soulful voice and sassy demeanor made the performance especially fun.

Some choir members, including senior Brandon Roebuck and junior Christine Renner, wrote their own songs and played guitar to accompany their solos. Roebuck’s song about love had people guessing who it was about. The lyrics were so skilfully written and cleverly arranged that I would have believed it was a song playing on the radio.

The talent at Follies was absolutely incredible, and the performances were both moving and entertaining. The experience of “Unplugged” was worth even more than the generous donations the choir collected.

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The Show Starts Now