March 17, 2016 at 1:57 p.m.
Participating students’ classmates, parents, grandparents, siblings and other friends filed into the school’s Performing Arts Center where they were greeted by show emcees and “flight attendants” Megan Malaski (a veteran on the job) and Karly Hennen (a rookie trainee).
The nightly crowds enjoyed wide aisles and comfy seating for their flights. They did not need to fasten any seat belts, but they were discouraged from walking around during the evening’s “stops” or performance acts.
The world tour had barely left the ground, and Malaski and Hennen introduced the music department’s jazz band and stage choir for a combo performance of “Living in America,” a song made popular by James Brown in the film “Rocky IV.”
Audiences quickly jetted toward Europe as the jazz band continued with the Beatles’ “Norwegian Wood” followed by Count Basie’s “April in Paris.”
Flag line members from the school, including Hannah Gillette, Tori Nelson, Tori Richter, Emma Schneider and Tess Thibault, twirled their flags to the music of “We Speak No Americano” from Australian band Yolanda Be Cool.
As Hennen and Malaski shared some insights with their “passengers” before each performance, it was about this time during each evening’s flight when a pair of magicians – Riley Buck and Alec Cullen – emerged from the crowd for a bit of whimsy. Buck and Cullen reappeared in the spotlight for more tricks throughout each night, and certainly their illusions grew in spectacle and wonder as the show progressed. (How did they pull that eight-foot drinking straw from the fast-food paper bag, anyway?)
Malaski and Hennen explained that the musical style of barbershop quarter harmony had roots as African-American folk music before Andrew Bjornson, Carter Duncan, John Frischmon and Wyatt Partch shared the barbershop classic “Down Our Way.”
Skilled cloggers Lila Dabill and Destiny Pierce danced across nearly four decades as they opened by moving their feet to the 1970s novelty hit “Disco Duck” before jumping to recent classic “Uptown Funk.”
Sophie Timm sat at the piano to share her original song, “Wander Lust,” and sang the lyrics along with Hannah Pullis. Next on the travel itinerary, Partch took the stage by himself to sing lyrics from the song “Final Countdown,” made famous by ’80s band Europe, while simultaneously playing the tuba for a performance that words in a review could not do justice.
Emily Brogan played guitar to accompany her own singing of “You Got Me,” by Colbie Caillat.
Renae Ingalls shared a classical and global medley on the piano, beginning with Scott Joplin’s “Maple Leaf Rag” before moving to Claude Debussy’s “Clair de Lune,” Mozart’s “Rondo alla Turca,” Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata,” Edvard Grieg’s “Praeludium” and Yiruma’s “River Flows in You” before landing back in the U.S. with Vince Guaraldi’s “Linus and Lucy.”
Before intermission, the stage choir shared selections of “Jai Ho,” from the film “Slumdog Millionaire,” and then “Run the World” by Beyoncé.
The stage choir returned after the in-flight break with two versions of “Proud Mary” (Creedence Clearwater Revival, and Ike & Tina Turner). They followed those tunes with “White Winter Hymnal,” by Fleet Foxes and later Pentatonix, and the group closed with an eclectic pop medley featuring segments from “Hound Dog,” “YMCA,” Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” the “Oompa Loompa” song, the Bangles’ “Walk Like an Egyptian,” the “Chicken Dance” and MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This.”
Linda Mehltretter, a German exchange student attending CLHS, showed some mastery of four different languages (German, French, English and Dutch) by sharing portions of John Lennon’s “Imagine” in those varied tongues.
Alyssa Keller, a national clogging champion, danced to “Honey, I’m Good” by Andy Grammer.
Emily Brogan, Mackenzie Brogan, Samantha Nystrom and Ariah Schaefer joined for harmony in singing Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror.”
Duncan and Malaski offered a performance of the 1960s classic “House of the Rising Sun.”
Lastly before curtain calls, the jazz band played “Blue Rondo à la Turk,” made famous by the Dave Brubeck Quartet, followed by the jazz standard “Birdland.”
Jazz band members included Trevor Daniels, Jenna Frost, Eric Ginter, Laurel Marier and Karl Pliscott (saxophones), Mickey Engstrom, Shelby Spies, Austin Turman and Hunter Worden (trumpets), Vanessa Kaari (trombone), and Ben Bailey, Devin Cavanaugh and Kari Martinka (rhythm/percussion).
Stage choir members not appearing otherwise during the show included Terrell Ayers, Anna Bergerson, Matthew Braun, Grant Brown, Chris Feit, Dahlon Hart, Laura Holt, Phil LaPlante, Tanner Marquardt, Sally Nelson, Kaitlyn Nichols, Georgia Reding, Kayli Schneider, Austin Sidall, Henry Trost and Elizabeth Zemlin.
Student crew members not appearing on stage included Theresa Bautch, Renee Christensen, Brooke Copeland, Bailey Loso, Zach Manko, Emily Seaton, Natalie Seaton, Abbie Spetzman, Cassie Stokes, Tess Walker and Rianna Ziesmer.
CLHS band teacher Joe DeLisi and choir teacher Laura Moldenhauer directed the production.
Moldenhauer told the County Press after last week’s show that she and the school band director always view and judge many more auditions for acts than could fit in a two-hour program. Deciding on the acts is not an easy task. “Joe (Mr. DeLisi) and I are always impressed with the ideas that students come up with for the show,” Moldenhauer said. The music teachers discuss and select a broad theme for the annual show sometime before Christmas, giving all interested students some time to choose music or develop acts before auditions in late January.
Students also try out for the privilege of being emcees. Hennen and Malaski had to write and present an outline of skits for their successful audition.
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