By Stephanie Dolan
The Center Grove High School choir program will debut their Fall Fest performances Sept. 22 and 23.
“That is the first of our home concerts,” CGHS Choir Director Jennifer Dice said. “We have five home concerts throughout the course of the year. The other shows that we have are our Christmas show, our pre-contest show, our Showcase of Champions and then we have the Spring Spectacular. That would be the one we didn’t get to do last year.”
The CGHS choir season was cut short last year due to COVID closures. This year, concerts will be running at 25 percent capacity, and will also be livestreaming for people to enjoy from home.
“Our shows have typically been really well attended, and we often have to add an extra show because we sell out so quickly,” Dice said. “We really hope the community at large will be able to watch through the livestreaming option.”
The choir program was started in the 60s by Judy Meeks.
“Much of our success we owe to her in building up this program into something that kids want to be involved in,” Dice said. “We also have a lot of staff that helps us, and we have four voice teachers who come into the school to give private voice lessons. That is a huge part of our success, and they are able to diagnose problems that we are not in a large group setting.”
Dice said the program also has a choreographer.
“We have a huge parent and alumni support system,” she said. “Our costumer, Wendy Webb, is a former choir parent. They continue to come in and help our students be the best they can be on stage.”
“The kids have proven to be really resilient and have worked really hard now that we’ve been back in school and with after school rehearsals,” fellow choir director Jarod Norman said. “The biggest issue is just that we’ve not had all of them in class all the time. There’s e-learning and hybrid learning and that’s been a challenge.”
“We’re still allowed to rehearse after school,” Dice added. “Those students can also be ready for this first concert that we’re having here in a few weeks. They’re happy to do whatever it takes in order to keep it going. That’s been nice. The students have been extremely resilient, and they’re able to cope with all this more easily than the adults.”
Dice said there are several different events coming up, starting with Encore, a fundraiser set for Oct. 25 at the Barn at Bay Horse Inn.
“That is our primary fundraiser for scholarships,” Dice said.
“Tickets are available on the website,” Norman added.
The website is centergrovechoirs.org.
“I would just say we have felt incredibly supported by the community,” Dice said. “We are very thankful to the community for the support. We would encourage and invite the community to check out a Center Grove choir concert. We feel like our students provide a very professional experience.”