North Rowan students gain confidence from show choir

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 31, 2011

By Sarah Campbell
SPENCER — Those passing by the auditorium at North Rowan High School on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons might not be sure what’s going on.
There’s singing and dancing and lots of laughing.
A peek inside might have you wondering what play they’re rehearsing for, but the students aren’t actors — they’re singers and dancers.
The 13-member show choir, also known as the Glee Club, takes over the auditorium for practice four hours each week.
Choral director Nancy Stone started the group last spring after her students began requesting it in response to the hit television show “Glee.”
Fast foward a year and the group is looking foward to performing at several community events.
There isn’t a specific theme to the show, but Stone said it’s jam-packed with music to please any ear.
The set list includes Stevie Wonder’s “Sir Duke,” “Time Warp” from the “Rocky Horror Picture Show,” “Proud Mary,” “Jai Ho” from “Slumdog Millionaire” and Aretha Franklin’s “Chain of Fools.”
“I tried to pick things that would appeal to a wide variety of people,” Stone said. “That’s one of the reasons I picked ‘Sir Duke,’ it spans generations.”
Stone said the group is fortunate to have a choreographer, Debbie Hoffman, helping out this year.
“Last year we didn’t have a choreographer, it was just me,” she said.
Hoffman, who has done choreography for Piedmont Players and operated a dance studio in Salisbury for 40 years, began working with a handicapped student at North Rowan and decided to lend a hand with the show choir.
“I wanted to give some of my time in some other capacity,” she said. “They needed a choreographer and I was willing to do it because I enjoy working with kids.”
Hoffman called the group a a “very talented bunch of young people.”
“You would think there would maybe be some two left feet, but they have all worked very hard,” she said.
Students say being part of the show choir has boosted their confidence level.
Sophomore Jay Woodson said he’s always loved being on the stage performing, but being part of the group prepared him for his “Jungle Book” audition at the Meroney Theater.
“Seeing the choreographer that we do here in Glee Club helped put me in the state of mind that the choreographer in the ‘Jungle Book’ would be easier,” he said.
Sophomore Britney Callahan said being part of Glee Club brought her out of her shell.
“I’ve gained confidence because when I first started high school I was really shy and then I joined show choir,” she said. “I’m nervous until I step on stage, but once the light hits me all the nerves go away.”
Sophomore Erika Easley just joined the group a couple of weeks ago after seeing some of her friends dancing during class.
“It just looked so fun,” she said.
Senior C.J. Mowery, who plans to major in music and minor in theater, said being on stage gave him a sense of “euphoria.”
“You learn so much from the arts that you can’t learn in any other class,” he said. “There is only so much you can learn from a book.”
Contact reporter Sarah Campbell at 704-797-7683.
Upcoming performances
• April 15 during Earth Night Out in downtown Salisbury
• April 23 during Spencer’s Arbor Day celebration at the Eighth Street Ballpark
• May 6 during Spring Night Out in downtown Salisbury
• May 17 at 7 p.m. at North Rowan High School auditorium