Riders Preparing For Performances

ST. MARYS — Several members of Memorial High School’s show choir Glitter N Gold lounged on stage in the auditorium after school, awaiting the start of their practice and taking advantage of the free time to laugh and listen to music.

From 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 2, Memorial High School will host the Solo and Ensemble all-day event. Until then, Glitter N Gold members, as well as both choirs and the band, will be furiously practicing their songs.

Solo and Ensemble is an event during which schools from all over the Lima area participate in either a solo or ensemble performance.

“For choir we have men’s and women’s ensembles,” Choir Director Christy Taylor said. “Between Mr. Newlove, Mrs. Anderson and I, we have over 100 solos and or ensembles. The thing that’s really exciting is that we host the event. So it’s nice to have home-court advantage.”

Glitter N Gold members will be performing a renaissance tune, “All Creatures Now Are Merry Minded,” as an ensemble, but several members also will perform solos.

Freshman Kelly Cisco is one of them.

“(I hope) to get a one on our group ensemble, and then there’s a ladies’ ensemble for concert choir and I have a solo,” she said.

Cisco will be singing a class B song, which means it is classified in the middle as far as difficulty goes, called “My Johann.”

“I heard Mrs. Taylor sing it and thought it was hilarious,” Cisco said. “I’m a little nervous, but I’m pretty confident I’ll be fine. Mrs. Taylor is a good teacher. (And) I didn’t think I’d get into Glitter N Gold, but I did.”

Sophomore Alaina Lewis also has goals for the show.

“I want to get a 1 in every performance,” she said. “In most of our ensembles, she has to put us in different groups from the big choir and we have to sing together and blend.”

Zach Wheeler, junior, also has a solo performance, for which he will be singing “Love Has Eyes.”

“I hope to get a 1,” Wheeler said. “My worry is that I will mess up a measure in the song.”

At the beginning of the practice, Taylor split the group up into the different categories of voice to practice the ensemble song, which is a class A — the most difficult.

“They are picking up on it pretty well,” Taylor said. “This is probably the most difficult song I’ve ever given them.”

The group has been practicing the five-part harmony since mid-December.

Although the material is challenging, Taylor said one good thing about Solo and Ensemble is that it is not a competition. Performances are rated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being the highest — there are no rankings and no winners or losers.

“The kids are competing against themselves,” Taylor said.

The judges are all current or former educators from around the state of Ohio, and specialize in the category they will be judging. The event is free and open to the public.