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Behind the Holiday Scene

by ANNA FISCHER - An inside look on what goes into Westfield’s Holiday Show.

WESTFIELD, Ind. (Dec. 2019) - Red sashes and bow ties, the rustling of sheet music, handheld candles and a fake snow machine have come back again this holiday to Westfield High School.

Signature Sound and Limited Edition

This was the third year for the Holiday Show. It’s quickly becoming a tradition for many in the community, and it’s not hard to see why--from acapella to jazz covers of carols, it offers a little bit of everything. But so much more goes into the show than memorizing notes and timing transitions. Planning for the concert began long before the holiday season.

“We started preparing as directors back in August,” choir director Alison Wessel said. “We have to order the music and decide what’s happening.”

Despite there only being two performances and each show lasting less than two hours, there was still hours upon hours of rehearsal time put in. Not only did the students prepare in class for several weeks, they also stayed after school rehearsing in the auditorium.

“For me, at least, I’ve never done it before, so I don’t know what to expect,” Limited Edition member KC Burge (11) said. “This is probably the most professional vocal performance I’ve ever done. And I think everyone else can feel it too, because a lot of people haven’t been in Limited Edition before, so I can see the stress and the rehearsals are kind of getting to us a bit.”

For most concerts, students have an entire trimester to learn and perfect the music they’re given. For the Holiday Show, however, they had only a few weeks to get the music down.

“Learning the music is a lot more fast-paced than usual,” Cierra Adair (12) said. “The stakes are a lot higher. There’s much more music to learn than usual.”

There were many more moving parts to this performance than the average choir or band concert. The performers spent time backstage when they weren’t playing or singing, which added some new challenges.

“We have to be aware of what song is happening right now so that we can be getting in line at the right time and ready to go backstage when we need to be,” Signature Sound member Mallory Cooper (11) said. “So it takes a lot more self-control and responsibility out of us to make sure the show goes smoothly.”

The Holiday Show is the only concert of the year that has both the choir and band performing together. On top of learning the three to four songs each performed on their own, the bands and choirs sang and played multiple together.

“It’s really fun, but also kind of scary,” Burge said. “I’ve been backed before but not like that. I’ve never had a live band be there. But I really like how Mr. Muth conducts because he makes it very clear when I’m coming in.”

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