This year's program was Broadway Today. My daughter assured me that these were "cleaned up" , family acceptable songs (good thing, as some of the content of some of these broadway hits was a little controversial to say the least.)
The evening started, as usual, with a dinner of baked chicken, mashed potatoes & gravy, green beans and a beverage. It's really quite good (although the plastic utensils throw off the ambience a bit). The meal is served by the choir members in full costume. Part of their grade is based on their outfit. Another part is based on the centepiece and placemats they design for the tables. The amount and quality of most of the outfits and decorations is impressive.
The program featured selections from Chicago, Momma Mia, Rent, and Wicked. I was somewhat familiar with the songs from Chicago, as many of them have entered pop culture thanks to the big budget motion picture (e.g. "All That Jazz"). Ditto with Rent. I had never heard of Momma Mia, but I discovered to my delight that the music was actually from ABBA...one of the defining pop groups of the 70's (yes, I've been humming "Take a Chance on Me" ever since...ahhhh, the memories!).
I had heard a lot about Wicked (the untold story of the witches of Oz), but beyond the plot lines, I was not familiar with the music. I was very impressed (especially with the choir's rendition of "Defying Gravity, which blended into a swelling, goose bump inducing finale.) Rumor has it that Disney will be producing Wicked as a movie. I'm interested enough to see it (although I'm not a big fan of musicals).
Hats off to the high school students and especially to their teacher, Mrs. Steinhorst. This woman (who also directs a church choir in our region) has a unique gift of drawing every particle of talent out of her students (much like a commercial juicer takes juice out of every piece of apple). And to see kids who used to pass through our children's ministries was an added bonus.