A goodbye song

May 19, 2017

NEW CARLISLE — The sound of spring is in the air and it’s emanating from the vocal chords of the New Prairie High School Choral Department as this year’s spring show blooms on stage Friday and Saturday at 6 p.m., taking audiences through decades of pop hits.

“I think it’ll be really fun for the audience this year because usually they sit and listen to songs they’ve never heard of, but this time they’ll all be able to know the songs and dance along and sing along if they want to,” said NPHS senior Emmy McLaughlin.

“Pop Through The Decades” will offer a variety of hits with songs well-known to older generations and young, a sampling for everyone in the family as radio hits will be belted out not from speakers, but from New Prairie’s four choir groups in Innovation, Sing Sensation, Sapphire and the Beginning Women’s Choir.

Some songs the audience will hear include “Don’t Mean a Thing,” “He ain’t Heavy, He’s my Brother,” “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “Joleen,” “Here Comes the Sun,” “Thriller,” “Let Her Go,” "Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” “Shut Up and Dance” and many more.

Outside the cornucopia of pop melodies, however, the spring show offers another bittersweet dynamic. The stage will also serve as finality for 29 seniors whose long journey with the choir — which has seen four different directors in the last four years — finally comes to an emphatic, if not entirely too sudden, end.

“I’ve been crying this whole week,” said senior Hayley Benner, vocally ready for the show, but not emotionally ready for the final notes.

“We’ve been spending every day since freshmen year with the same people, so it’s going to be hard to have it end out of nowhere,” McLaughlin said.

Choir Director Jimmy Bennett has only had the outgoing seniors for one year, but he stated since day one he’s been blown away by the effort the seniors have put in and their willingness to do whatever it takes.

“For the seniors, it’s been special to see them kind of take the lead… I’m really proud of them and everything they’ve been able to do,” Bennett said.

Sing Sensation’s Caitlyn Demlein, a four-year veteran of the choir department, hopes audiences and the community will bear these thoughts in mind when considering attending the show, which only costs $5 for a ticket.

“We’d really appreciate for everyone to come out and support us in our farewell and final endeavor,” Demlein said.

Demlein has listened to members of the choir — from freshmen to her fellow seniors — practice for hours upon hours, days upon days in preparation. She knows they’re ready to show how much they’ve grown since their fall show.

But she also knows voices may end up quivering from aspects other than strain.

“It’s going to be pretty emotional,” Demlein said.

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