Pumped up to perform: CHS choir students to attend Showchoir Camps of America over the summer, come back ready to learn

Kelly Truax

The Showchoir Camps of America (SCA) hosts two camps each summer, one in Ohio and one in Illinois. High school and middle school performers come to these camps from all over the country as well as different parts of the world. The camp provides several different workshops and performing arts activities for the attendants.

“(Students) get exposed to so many great clinicians and so many people that have so much wisdom and knowledge,” choir department head Kathrine Kouns said. “A lot of the students are just inspired to come back to their own choir program and share what they’ve learned, and hopefully grow even further, and, of course, improve as musicians.”

Kouns has been involved in SCA and has led workshops. She said she speaks highly of the camp with students because of their direct involvement in the program.

“I think that because our students have seen the caliber of people that they get to work with, more and more of our kids are interested in going. So, I think this year we’ve got over 50 students going,” Kouns said.

Performer and junior Sydney Greene said if you already know a lot about one of your workshops, it’s still helpful because you can develop your skills even more and  become stronger and faster at them as a performer.

Performer and junior Kennedy Plotkowski said she was first interested in SCA when she heard about it through Carmel Middle School. Plotkowski said she knew she liked dancing and singing, so she decided to attend the camp. Plotkowski said even though activities at SCA might be hard work, they pay off not only during the camp but also in choir during the following year.

Plotkowski said, “I love learning the dances and learning our set. It’s really hard work, but it’s so much fun, and it really pays off in the end because everyone is so into it, and it’s cool doing something that everyone there cares about. I always feel like when I go back to choir it helps me there too.”

Performer and junior Stella Dennett said she feels like she gains more experience in performing arts skills when she attends SCA, which it boosts her confidence as a performer. She also said she gets a better idea of how other students perform.

“It makes me feel like I have more experience and know how other people perform and not just how (CHS) choirs performs; it provides us with more diversity,” Dennett said.

Kelly Truax
Junior Sydney Greene and senior Ben Heber practice for the spring musical. Greene said being able to go to a summer camp allows her to learn many new things that she can apply when she comes back to CHS.

Kouns said she can tell a difference in an attendee’s skills and personality. She said students come back even more confident and independent. Students develop these characteristics because at the camp, they are fully submerged in performing arts activities and are in charge of themselves.

“They come back with so much more confidence. In that one week, they just learn so much independence because they’re just submerged in it for a week,” Kouns said.

Performer and junior Sydney Hargis has been attending SCA since the first year she could. She said she likes and benefits from the camp’s enforcement of independence.

“My favorite part of the week is the freedom it comes with. It’s similar to college: it’s a responsibility to get to rehearsal and meals from your dorm on time, but the idea of functioning on your own and with your friends is exciting,” Hargis said.

During the day, camp participants attend workshops to work on a variety of skills, learn about performing arts or just be motivated to perform. Not only do students enjoy the workshops, but they also help develop their skills for choir the following year.

“The workshops can help benefit you in choir because they teach you different things, like some of them are more personal and others are more lectures about life, and it’s really opening to come back to choir (at CHS) and see how it applies,” Plotkowski said. “Some of the workshops are just really fun, just to get you loosened up and excited for what’s to come.”

“There are so many different workshops like singing and dancing and auditions and stuff. So all of the workshops teach you something, and some of the workshops help you pick up choreography faster because you learned different styles, or the music ones that help you get used to working with (a) different director,” Greene said.

Hargis said she greatly benefits from the workshops.

“Throughout the week we have many workshops to participate in, from tricks and lifts to audition workshops. It’s so nice to choose the ones you want and build your schedule for the week. Most, if not all, of the skills learned through these workshops can be applied to choir. You come back from camp with new moves and better vocal technique,” Hargis said. 

The students who attend the camp all said they come back with new and closer friendships. Kouns said she hears about their new friendships, and they come from all over the world.

“Every student that I’ve ever sent has come away from camp with great friendships. (They’re) meeting people just like them from all over the country,” Kouns said.

Due to this school’s proximity to the camps, CHS typically has a large number of participants. Still, Greene said she had the opportunity to meet people from all over the country and that there was even a group from Japan there. She was able to share the experience of SCA with these people from around the country and globe.

Greene said, “My favorite part is probably that you get to meet people around the country and the world that all share a common interest that you do. You spend a whole week with some of your fellow choir students that go with you from your school.”

To learn more about the CHS choirs and their multiple activities throughout the year, visit: hilite.org/