Stressful shows

Students reflect on the stress and benefits of choir following their “Menken Magic” concert.

Casey Loving, Reporter

Sam Bartlett
Senior Dean Lang opens the show dressed as Lumière from “The Beauty and the Beast”. The show was a tribute to Alan Menken, who’s composed many musical numbers featured in Disney movies and shows. 

The time leading up to a choir concert is intense. Late-night dress rehearsals. Last-ditch efforts to get things fully memorized. Constant reruns of songs and choreography. All of this stress can come to a head the night of the concert.

Concert nights can be extremely stressful for choir students. With quick changes, stage fright and little space backstage there can be a lot going through your head while you wait for your next moment on stage.

Senior Dean Lang, who portrayed Lumière in the concert’s “Beauty and the Beast” set, said he found being the opening act of the concert “Menken Magic” to be particularly stressful.

“You open [the show]. You’re the first thing everybody sees,” Lang said. “It’s just really nerve-wracking. Leading up, the few minutes that Briley was playing piano [before the concert] was awful. It was one of the worst feelings.”

Despite the nerves, Lang said he found the experience to be worth it.

“It was really fun,” Lang said. “[The stress is] definitely worth it. There’s a sense of family with everyone and there’s just so much time put in.”

Junior Arissa Brown, the concert’s Esmeralda for the “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” set, also said she found it nerve-wracking to have such a big solo.

“It’s pretty stressful, especially when you’re about to go on,” Brown said. “You have to work and prepare and, especially if you have a voice teacher, you work pretty hard on certain parts. I know that the ending of my solo gave me trouble, but in the end it works itself out.”

Although she was nervous before she went on, Brown said the fear slipped away once she got on stage.

“I’ve found that when you’re actually on the stage, because you can’t really see the audience, you kind of get blinded by the stage lights,” Brown said. “The stress kind of alleviates itself once you’re in the moment, but the lead up can be the most stressful part.”

Senior Karlie Will portrayed Ariel for the show’s “The Little Mermaid” set. She said that although performing as a soloist was stressful, it wasn’t nearly as bad as she thought it would be.

“I thought it would be more stressful than it was,” Will said. “This was my first real part in one of the shows, so it was a little stressful, but the fact that it was more acting and less just standing there singing made it a lot better.”

Will said she especially enjoyed being such a recognizable characters for the show’s matinees, where elementary and middle schoolers were able to see the show’s first half during the school day.

“It was really fun because when we did the matinees all the little girls thought I was really Ariel, so they came up and hugged me,” Will said. “They just freaked out and they just thought it was the cutest thing.”

Even though there is plenty of stress that comes with choir as shows near, most students would say you get out what you put in.

“Yes, definitely [it is worth it],” Will said. “It makes you more of an outgoing person, and it’s just a good thing to be a part of. You make friends from it and it gives you something to do, kind of like a distraction from all of the classwork and stuff.”

Brown said she agrees that even if the buildup is bad, the stress of choir is well worth.

“Yes, you stress out, and you freak out, and tech week is always kind of crazy,” Brown said. “But once you’re actually performing, it’s so nice to just use all of that energy and to see the looks on the audience’s faces and to know that they’re enjoying what they’re watching.”