Aniyah Lockert and Sydney Young
November 3, 2023
Picture Perfect - Illumination poses for a group picture after finishing their first fall concert as a group. (Photo courtesy of Sheryl Matthys)
Westfield High School’s new and improved show choir, Illumination, has set itself up for a great year after its debut performance at WHS’s Fall Choir Concert.
Illumination, Westfield’s first competitive show choir, is an audition-based choir, currently consisting of 28 girls across all four grade levels. Later in the school year, this group will compete at two competitions in Indiana in addition to performing at the Holiday Festival and a spring concert, both at Westfield High School. This choir is currently led by Graham Sutton who took on the task of creating this show choir.
“Teaching this group has been a lot of fun,” Head Director Sutton said. “We've done a lot of new things, …had outside choreographers come in to work with our show choir, all preparing to go compete. It's been a great experience.”
The group quickly grew accustomed to the fast-paced nature of a show choir. From learning new music to setting choreography onstage, there are always moving parts. Luckily, the members of Illumination have risen to the challenge, and they have utilized class time as well as weekly after-school rehearsals to learn, clean, and practice their dances.
“There’s a lot of choreography to remember,” freshman Harper Bryant said. “It’s challenging dancing and singing at the same time, so I have to make sure I’m always thinking about (both).”
Show choirs demand hard work and dedication from their members. In order for Illumination to be successful, it was imperative that all the students felt comfortable with and could trust each other. To achieve this, team bonding activities have been on the agenda since the beginning.
“We weren’t all best friends from the start,” junior Zoe Strahl said. “It was that push from Mr. Sutton gave us to get to know everyone and step outside of our comfort zones that made it feel like a family.”
Since Westfield High School has never had a competitive show choir, no one truly knew the extent of what they were auditioning for. Fortunately, the class has proved beneficial in many ways, especially by providing an enjoyable environment for students to grow their musical capabilities and dancing skills.
“I first did show choir in middle school, and I absolutely loved it,” senior Keegan Connor said. “I have been having a great time getting to advance my music theory, and just getting to have a fun time.”
The future is unknown for Illumination; however, the girls are eager to make the most of every experience and performance. The first glimpse of this show choir at the fall concert provided some foresight as to what lies ahead for this ambitious and passionate group.
“They exceeded my expectations,” Sutton said. “I think they’ll continue to exceed expectations as we go into the year as long as they keep working hard.”