Momentum performs

Momentum debuted its 20-minute show at the PHS Cabaret concert Dec. 22. The group also performed with the Wisconsin Singers on Jan. 27. Photo submitted by Julie Van Norwick

From Hi-Lights: Momentum has a successful season

Posted March 13, 2017

NOTE: This article appeared in the February 2017 edition of the Plymouth High School newspaper, Hi-Lights. Look for a copy in the high school office.

By Emma Hellmer
of the Hi-Lights staff

Momentum Show Choir took fourth at the Colby Central Wisconsin Show Choir Spectacular on Jan. 7 and second at the Burlington Chocolate City Showcase on Jan. 21.

The group members, led by choir director Amanda Smith, began rehearsals in August during “boot camp,” when they met from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for five days and learned all of the music and choreography for the 20-minute “work”-themed show.

Their performance begins and ends with “Working for the Weekend” by Loverboy and features other songs such as “Coffee Break” from the musical “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” Dolly Parton’s “Nine to Five,” and “Bang on the Drum” by Todd Rundgren.

Soloists include junior Katie Sanborn and seniors Connor McManus and Delaney Scudella. The show also contains an original ballad by Connor arranged into a mashup with Avril Lavigne’s “Keep Holding On.”

On Jan. 7, Momentum members left PHS at 4:45 a.m. for the Colby competition. They performed at 8:45 a.m. in front of supporters and competitors alike, but most importantly, the four judges.

After the show, a judge gave the group constructive comments regarding their show. “Our biggest criticisms from the judges were the balance between the combo and our singing, and we also needed a more forward sound,” said sophomore Isabell Gangano.

After being critiqued, the members were free to eat, relax, and watch other show choirs perform. Seeing the other shows was largely a favorite among Momentum performers. “Even though we’re all competing against each other and we all want to win, it’s awesome to see all the other great talent that’s in the state,” said senior Delaney Scudella.

Members found the competition experience overall to be encouraging and fun. Junior Matt Klemm loved the positive atmosphere. “It’s great because everybody’s there for one reason,” he said.  “We’re all show choir nerds.  We see a good move and we cheer like crazy.”

At 5:30 p.m., all show choirs and their audiences gathered in the gym for awards. Senior dance captains Jake Van Norwick and Destiny Henschel represented Momentum on stage.

The team received fourth place in its division, missing the third place spot by just one point. “We were up against pretty good schools, and it has motivated us to do even better next time,” said senior Megan Carbaugh.

Over the next week the group took the judges’ advice to heart and worked through flaws in the show such as balance, resonance, and sharpness of choreography.

When Momentum competed again Jan. 21 at the Burlington Chocolate City Showcase, the group took second place in its division, earning a trophy, and Momentum veterans were pleased to have beaten rival Kewaskum for the spot.

Many members had the goal of placing higher than Kewaskum because in the past two years, Kewaskum has narrowly beaten Momentum twice. From Momentum’s first-ever competition in 2015, Kewaskum placed higher by one point.  Then, last year, Kewaskum beat Momentum for a spot in finals by half a point.

This wasn’t the main goal of the group, though; their main goal was to walk away from their performances feeling proud. “Over this season they really put in the hard work, and they should feel proud,” Mrs. Smith said.

The group’s final performance of their competitive season was on Jan. 27 in the PHS auditorium when they opened for the Wisconsin Singers, a show choir from UW-Madison, which performed a collection of Broadway hits. Momentum will be back at the spring choral concert with a new set list.