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Indianapolis Show Choirs Prepare for Sold Out Winter Shows

The first weeks of December mean that Indianapolis show choirs will grace the stage once more, this time with a festive flair. Since opening their year with fall shows in late September, Indianapolis show choirs have been preparing to transform auditoriums into a winter wonderland with their holiday performances. Now, with just a few days to a week away from performing, HRSC asked how those performers were feeling. For most schools across the Indianapolis metropolitan area, these winter performances are the largest of the year, and all performers are excited to deliver their full-length holiday productions to thousands of families, friends, and community members.

Franklin Central High School

Franklin Central High School (FC) is set to perform six sold-out shows of their popular “Sounds of the Season.” In contrast to other schools, FC’s winter show includes performances from their band and orchestra in addition to their three show choirs and three concert choral groups. Olivia Thomas, a junior in High Voltage, FC’s varsity girls group, discussed the complexities of ensuring a show with so many performing groups performing back-to-back or together can run so seamlessly.

“For Sounds of the Season, we usually do several dress rehearsals,” Thomas said. “With a total of six choirs, two bands, and an orchestra performing, there are a lot of participants and a lot of room for error if we're not used to being around each other.”

FC’s holiday production draws nearly six thousand spectators each year. Branden Evans, a senior in FC Singers, FC’s varsity mixed show choir, mentioned how validating it feels to perform for so many in their community.

“This year, every show sold out within a week of tickets going live,” Evans said. “It's really incredible to see how much the community enjoys our show, and it really validates the amount of work that we put into making this show so great.”

In total, FC performs their holiday show six straight nights with many days of rehearsal before the show. With so much time dedicated to preparing each night and performing, it’s certainly difficult to find a balance between show choir, school, and life. Thomas explained how she manages her schedule during such a busy time of year.

“For me, even with all of the Christmas cheer flying everywhere, I still find little spurts of time to relax, deep breathe, journal, meditate, and put everything aside for a minute,” she said. “Most downtime at rehearsals is spent studying for some final or finishing up a project of some kind or another, so finding these downtimes outside of rehearsals and school is very, very important.”

Center Grove High School

Center Grove High School opens its holiday production, “Noel,” tonight at 7 p.m. Within a week of releasing tickets, Center Grove sold out all four of its shows in its 1,200-seat auditorium, and two of its performances had sold out on the very first day.

With their popular holiday show opening the week after Thanksgiving, Center Grove has a full week of rehearsal before Thanksgiving break in addition to several dress rehearsals the week of their show to be prepared. Samantha Webb, a junior in Debtones, Center Grove’s varsity girls group, discussed the different preparations the group has taken to ensure their largest performance of the year goes on without a hitch.

“Most home shows we practice after school the week of, but for Christmas, we did a full tech week before we left for Thanksgiving break,” Webb said. “We also have more costume changes, and placements that need to look even better than any other show, especially since we have four sold-out shows.”

Claire Lollar, a sophomore in Sound System, Center Grove’s varsity mixed group, expressed her excitement to perform a song that is unique to the group’s annual Christmas production.

“In Noel, I’m most excited to perform our Country Christmas number,” she said. “This number is very entertaining and fun as it showcases a fiddle-playing duel between Santa and the Devil. The choreography and overall storytelling of this number is some of my favorite to perform in our show.”

Carmel High School

Carmel High School is holding five shows of their Holiday Spectacular this year, titled “A Light in the Dark.” The show features performances from all ten of their choirs, and for just the second time, will be taking place in the newly renovated Dale E. Graham Auditorium, which can hold up to 1,500 spectators - the most in the state.

With a week to go before their performances, Carmel has sold over 90% of their tickets, with most of the remaining tickets being up on the balcony. 

Zoey Hornback, a senior in Accents, Carmel’s varsity girls group, discussed what it means to perform their show for so many people in the Carmel community.

“Carmel has 10 choirs, so with that, plenty of people want to come watch their friends and family perform,” Hornback said. “For families in Carmel, coming to Holiday Spec is a tradition for them that they look forward to every year. I love how heavily performing arts is supported within our community!”

After many hours at rehearsals, Hornback can’t wait to bring it all together and perform.

“I’m a senior this year, so it will be my last Holiday Spectacular,” she explained. “As we start having more intense and longer rehearsals, I’m starting to be more excited as we can see how everything is fitting together. I’m looking forward to sharing all of our talent and hard work with the community.”

Fishers High School

Fishers High School will be hosting two performances of their winter spectacular. After beginning to work on Christmas music in September, Meredith Chaney, a sophomore in Sound, Fishers girls group, discussed how the program is preparing in their final week before their largest performance of the year and how that foreshadows their competition season.

“With us, it is our biggest concert of the year. It’s almost the preview of what is coming for the future show choir season and shows what we are capable of,” Chaney said. “To know that my community and fellow classmates look forward to our Winter Spectacular makes me so glad I can be part of something just as magical as the Fishers Sound Choir and Fishers Tigers Choir program.”

After all the preparations and ticket sales, it is now time for these show choirs to take center stage and bring some holiday cheer to communities across the Indianapolis metropolitan area! Holiday performances at these featured schools and other Indy-area schools run pretty much right up until winter break, a conveinent unwind for tired performers.

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