PHS choir brings home third place, judge’s choice


Portsmouth High School show choir students recently traveled to Marysille High School for a competition and came back over the rainbow with several notable wins to show off.

The students presented a Wizard of Oz themed performance and wowed judges into landing third place overall, Judges’ Choice Award, and students Sydney Johnson, Tyrin Lewis, Katie Born, Preston Krebbs, and Talia Monraga-Fontes all won outstanding performer titles.

The students began learning music and choreography for the competition in September and took only a brief break to perform a musical at Christmas.

“I am so extremely proud of my students this competition season,” teacher Emily Crandall said. “They started the school year strong with 100 percent buy-in for this show and have been working hard every day. They don’t get days off, unlike other Varsity sports; they work all year long. Show choir isn’t for the weak and these kids prove day in and day out how strong and determined they truly are.”

Crandall said she is impressed with their talent and drive to succeed, especially the way they accept constructive criticism and direction, especially when Crandall steps back and looks at the scope of work needed to pull off a competition win.

“I start planning competition shows as soon as auditions are over in May for the following year. I work with a professional choreographer from West Virginia and together we tailor our competition show to the strength of the group,” Crandall explained. “Once school begins, in August, we begin learning sheet music, have solo auditions, and learn choreography. After we learn the basics of the show, we start getting more in-depth with preparations and start to perfect the show. The final thing we add to the show is our live band, under the direction of our talented band director, Tony McKrimmon. This group of nine students who rehearse and travel with us to competitions.

The Portsmouth High School will show choir will perform next with junior high students Sunday, May 15 for a spring concert at 3 p.m. in the school auditeria, which will be free and open to the public. Students are also preparing for the music for graduation and auditions for next year.

“There are so many benefits to competing like this. You learn the meaning of hard work, dedication, and selflessness, to name a few. They learn that even on their worst days, they have to get up on stage and perform 100 percent, because there are 32 other people counting on them to give their all,” Crandall explained. “ I think that show choir is special because it creates a family environment for kids within school. It is a safe space that kids look forward to each day. They can be themselves, with no judgement to pressure to be something they’re not. These students are athletes, scholars, cheerleaders, and club members. Their various talents span across the board, but, when they come together to make these musical memories, they become one big family.”

Reach Joseph Pratt at (740) 353-3101, by email at [email protected], © 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved

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