Sunday, January 9, 2011

How Do You Get to Carnegie Hall?

When we came home from the preliminary round of Future Stars last night, my husband said to me, "I don't think they sang that well at my high school!"
They didn't sing that well at my high school either.

Future Stars, if you don't already know, is a competition that is "Ann Arbor's American Idol." High school students compete in a singing and dancing competition, and move forward based in part on the opinion of judges, and in part on voting (cheering). Just like in the original American Idol, the judges' comments are often insipid. [Seriously. Could they use a thesaurus before they get to the show? Find some alternative words for "amazing," "fantastic," and "you guys?" I don't think it is too much to ask.]

The singing and dancing, on the other hand, ranged from very good to unbelievably wonderful. The competition is hosted by Pioneer's Theater Guild, and though it is open to students from all schools--and there were a few I knew from Community and Skyline, though I'm not sure about Huron, Clemente, or Stone--it is dominated by Pioneer students. At this point I also have to give a shout out to the band that backed up most of the students; they didn't get much attention but they were truly attention-worthy.

Most theater programs--including the one at my high school and my husband's high school--tend to try to offer a diverse array of theater experiences, including musical theater, but not primarily musical theater. Part of it is related to size--my high school, and my husband's high school, had about 1000 students--Pioneer, even in its reduced state, will be a lot larger.

At Pioneer, the emphasis is clearly on musical theater, which is why, if the district ever decides to do a theater magnet, it would probably make sense to put it at Pioneer. Those who prefer straight plays at Pioneer get their day, but less frequently and with a smaller audience.

The net result, in this case, is that students get a lot of practice at singing. And in fact, I know that many of those students also take singing lessons. It pays off.

How do you get to Carnegie Hall?
Practice, Practice, Practice.

The Future Stars "finals" are this coming Saturday evening, 1/15/2011.
If you want a seat, get there early.

1 comment:

  1. I heard a few years ago that Huron was going to be a magnet for math and Pioneer was going to be a magnet for the performing arts. Who knows what happened to that concept. The music program at Pioneer in general is very intense and there are large numbers of students that have had extensive private training that they can draw upon. We love the theater guild there and go to as many events as we can. Future Stars is growing every year and is sure to be a really fun final performance on Saturday. The theater program has an upside and a downside. Up -- wonderful performances with great opportunities for students. Down -- huge time commitments for students that already have heavy academic demands.