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'Here We Go Again:' Lakeridge's Company Choir rehearses a unique variety show

PMG PHOTO: CLAIRE HOLLEY - Lakeridges Company choir practices a large group number from the upcoming variety show.Lakeridge's Company choir will present its annual variety show, premiering Thursday, April 18. This year's show, titled "Here We Go Again," will present a wide variety of classic and modern songs from a variety of genres. The theme is a nod to the process of developing a variety show and the amount of commitment and rehearsal required.

Company, Lakeridge's selective choral and dance group, will be assisted by the school's jazz ensemble in the performance.

The variety show is the most student-led out of all of Company's performances, according to choir teacher Bill Campbell. "Students had the opportunity to propose songs and put together auditions with those songs," he said. "We were able to use about half of the auditions in the variety show. All of the choreography and song selection was done by the students."

Company's variety show will consist of about thirty musical numbers; audiences can expect pop, rock and R&B music spanning the decades, including The Jackson 5's "ABC," The Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Under the Bridge," Outkast's "Hey Ya," and Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now."

"We wanted to choose a broad theme to incorporate all different kinds of music and styles," says Company co-president and Lakeridge senior Grant Lautze. "We have one of the most talented groups that we've had, and we have a wide variety of singers with different skill sets."PMG PHOTO: CLAIRE HOLLEY - Lakeridge students Kody Oyama and Tia Lempert rehearse a routine from the variety show.

Olivia Ricketts, fellow senior and co-president of Company, agrees.

"It's the one show that we get to put together. There really is so much talent in this group," she said. "There's so much variety in the songs and the performances, which has been really fun."

Lautze says he enjoys putting on the variety show because it is so important to all of the members of Company. "I love how big of a part of your life the show becomes. We have so many other things going on, but for a few weeks gearing up to the show, we're only focused on making sure it can be the best production possible," he said. "We want to make sure everything is absolutely perfect, from the singing, to the choreography."PMG PHOTO: CLAIRE HOLLEY - Female members of Company practice their section of a routine in the schools band room.

Part of the fun, said Lautze, is just being with the other members of Company. "It's fun getting to put this together with our friends," he said. "Everyone really enjoys working together."

Senior Alex Connelly said he enjoys seeing the progress that he and the other performers make leading up to the show. "It's been fun seeing how fast some of the growth is, because a lot of progress is just gestating with what we've practiced," he said. "Sometimes we'll end a class not feeling great about a routine, but by the next class we'll have it down."

The variety show will feature music performed by the Lakeridge jazz ensemble. Junior Michael Rodenkirch, who plays drums in the ensemble, said the collaboration has been challenging but fulfillingfulfilling.

"We started practicing with the sheet music on our own, and then performed together for the first time recently, which was very interesting," he said. "It's been challenging, especially with a large group. Everyone has different personalities which plays into that. It's challenged me in a way that I wasn't used to."

Rodenkirch, who comes from a jazz background, said his biggest challenge is figuring out how to play pop music the best he can. "It's a unique experience," he said. "You're not going to see this music put together like this, and performed by these people, anywhere else."PMG PHOTO: CLAIRE HOLLEY - Male members of Company rehease their portion of a routine from the variety show.

It's been a unique experience for senior Maura Hughes as well, who was excited to take her turn in the variety show. "I've seen both of my siblings do the variety show, so it's been really great to finally get to do it myself," Hughes said. "I've enjoyed seeing all of the behind the scenes stuff and all of the work that goes into the show."

Hughes says audiences can expect to see a talented ensemble present a variety of music. "There's something for everyone," she says.

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