Friday, March 18, 2016

Leopards Take Broadway

What a choir season we had this year! A rush of amazing music and intense work to bring to pass our spring concert: Leopards Take Broadway!

From the first Friday in January to the concert on March 18, the kids worked hard after school on Fridays and Tuesdays at lunch with our individual soloist and group features practice. I couldn't have done it without my mom's help taking the kids one at a time to hit all their pitches on solos while I scoured the playground looking for unsuspecting choir victims! 

 The announcers worked together learning a little dialogue for each song telling something we had to do to get on Broadway, including...
1. Getting up early (because Broadway is all the way across the country), so we sang "Oh What a Beautiful Morning" from Oklahoma
2. Working Hard, so we sang "It's the Hard-Knock Life" from Annie
3. Getting a great sidekick, so we recited "The Naming of Cats" from Cats

(Those songs were sung by my 41 Cubs, the K-2nd grade singers... 
...after which my 30 Prowlers, the 3rd-6th grade singers, joined in)

4. Getting a great costume, so we sang "Masquerade" from The Phantom of the Opera

5. Leaning how to sing, so we sang "Do-Re-Mi" from The Sound of Music
6. Attempting the impossible, so we sang "Defying Gravity" from Wicked

(Time for intermission... the Cubs joined the audience and the Prowlers took the stage for their set... )
7. Having a great imagination, so we sang "Castle on a Cloud" from Les Miserables
8. Getting rich! So we sang "If I Were a Rich Man" from The Fiddler on the Roof
9. Loving every bit of what we do, so we sang "Seasons of Love" from Rent


So... It's one of those things that sounded like a great idea at first: a collection of Broadway songs, each representing something that you have to do to get on Broadway...but then you start to realize that every Broadway song is difficult in its own way. I mean, these are songs written for professional performers with decades of experience, so why not have my kindergartners learn it???  Hmmm....

And most of the sheet music is written as orchestral adaptations or for Piano/Vocal/guitar. In order to cover the difficult music, I had to recruit a team of pianists: Mom and Brooke (with adorable assistant Alex). They were a dream team of piano talent and page turning (the longest song checking in at over 20 pages, not to mention the repeats, codas, and alterations made).
In spite of all that, everything turned out well enough. I'm always so impressed with the drive and determination of the kids to get everything learned. And I think the great thing about this experience was seeing the kids learn excellent music and having the kids and their parents enjoying the music together. I'm glad we all had a chance to learn together.

We had a good time and made great memories... but would I do this program again with K-6 singers? Don't count on it...


At April 19, 2016 11:03 AM , Blogger Brooke Evans said...

Great job, Danielle!

At May 09, 2016 10:56 PM , Blogger Aaron and Emily said...

Wow. I can't believe you did all that. You are an amazing mom and teacher.


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