Whitehall News

Show choir camp lets students be 'Star for a Day'

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Nearly 30 students from the Whitehall City School District were able to bask in the limelight earlier this month during the first Whitehall-Yearling High School "Star for a Day" show choir kids camp.

The event, hosted by the high school's show choir Nov. 3, taught campers in grades 2-8 a new song and dance and how to perform live on stage.

The daylong event was a hit for the campers, their parents and the high-schoolers.

"I am having the best time ever," Whitehall-Yearling senior Clara Mead said as she took a break from her campers. "It's going to be so hard to say goodbye to these kids. I've become so attached to all of them."

Kids camp is an initiative introduced by Ann Johnson, director of vocal music at Whitehall-Yearling. Although she has held similar camps in her previous district, this is a first for her in Whitehall, she said.

"It's a chance for them to see what's available at the high school so, hopefully, they'll want to join when they get up to that level," Johnson said.

She said she was pleased with the camp's initial turnout but expects participation to improve as word gets out.

"They'll all want to come back and bring their friends," she said.

During the camp, high school show choir members taught two groups of children a song and dance routine for the afternoon performance. They played games with their campers in an effort to break the ice and decorated classrooms to make the children feel more welcome.

Sophomore Madison Schmidt, who also helped plan the event, said she was surprised at the interest level.

"The kids are very, very energetic," she said during a break. "They are very outgoing and have a lot of personality."

The students appeared to be in their glory also. Playing games in one of the classrooms, students made up their own personal sign and threw handfuls of shredded paper at one another as part of an ice-breaker.

Aside from learning a song and dance number, Mead said, her hope was that the children took home another message -- that they could be serious about something and have fun at the same time. That, she said, is what show choir is all about.

After a day of belting out a Jackson Five tune, dancing on the risers and even landing a solo or two, campers were all about winning over the crowd.

"I couldn't sleep last night because I was so pumped for today," Mead said.

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