All(egro) In: Carmel Choirs adds second all-girls competing ensemble this school year

Sophomore Meg Shaffer (left), junior Lindsay Vrobel (middle) and sophomore Ava Reynolds (right) practice the choreography in class. Vrobel said Allegro will learn new choreography this year to perform 
at concerts.

Richa Louis

LEARNING CHOREO: Sophomore Meg Shaffer (left), junior Lindsay Vrobel (middle) and sophomore Ava Reynolds (right) practice the choreography in class. Vrobel said Allegro will learn new choreography this year to perform at concerts.

Emily Carlisle

The choir program has added a new competition choir to the mix. As of last year, there were three show choirs: New Edition, Accents, and Ambassadors.  This year, CHS launches a fourth group,  Allegro, into the competition world. While Allegro, an all-girls intermediate choir, has existed for several years, this year the group will participate in one competition in addition to the “Evening of Show Choir” (Evening) event in March.

Lindsay Vrobel, two-year member of Allegro and junior said last year Allegro was like a home to her.

Vrobel said, “I love the community within Allegro. Everyone is really nice and fun to be around and we are really just like a big family. Class time is always really fun and it’s just a good experience.”

Now her home has expanded in ways the girls in Allegro did not necessarily see coming. Most people in the choir had heard rumors before this change was announced. However it was not until after auditions they discovered they would both participate in a competition and perform at Evening, a show which continues to expand as New Edition joined the festivities last school year.

Michelle Lu

While time will limit Allegro to only one competition this year, associate choral director, Kyle Barker, said the directors hope the competition gives them the experiences the girls deserve but also stays true to the low number of mandatory outside rehearsals. Barker said the directors know some girls have other commitments so having fewer out of school rehearsals is best for them.

Barker said, “We are only doing one competition with (Allegro) but it should give them more experience in the dance side of things to help prepare them for either a career in performance or their future within our program. We have a lot of people there who are in athletics or in other activities, who don’t want (to) or can’t  give the amount of time to be in one of our busier competition choirs.”

Vrobel said the members of Allegro are excited about the opportunity to compete. 

“I think it will be a lot of fun and a great bonding experience for all of the girls,” Vrobel said. “I know that competitions are a great way to get to know everyone since you are with them from like 6 a.m. to almost 1 a.m. the next day. And I’m really looking forward to that.”

Like Vrobel, Elizabeth “Liz” Winders, another two-year Allegro member and junior, said, “I am really excited for (the competition). I think we are going to do really well with this new challenge this school year.”

Barker said the challenge is exactly why the directors made this shift.

Richa Louis
ONE STEP AT A TIME: Professional choreographer Jeff Jordan runs through the choreography for the upcoming concert with Allegro. The concert will showcase both the concert choirs and show choirs and will take place on Oct. 2 in the
CHS Auditorium.

“Within the last few years, the choir program has grown by over 100 students, which has raised the bar for us as groups continue to improve. One of the ways that we wanted to raise the bar for the girls in Allegro was to compete with them a little,” Barker said.

Some people would see this as a shift from Allegro being a “concert” choir to a “show” choir. But within the Carmel Choir’s program, the directors say they try to break down those connotations by giving almost every choir the chance to dance at least once a year.

Barker said, “I don’t classify our choirs as show choirs or concert choirs. I believe they all need to be well rounded and do a little bit of everything. Allegro was sort of already doing that year ‘round, so this shift made sense.”

Allegro’s current set is one Barker said he believes will significantly impact the girls in a positive way. He said the music is all about being your best self and letting your true self shine. Barker also said this idea is often lost in people’s lives, especially teenage girls. It is also different from many show choir sets in the fact that there is not a set ‘theme.’ There is a connecting idea but no overarching plot to the set.

“(The set) is a jukebox style show,” Vrobel said. “There is no strong theme that holds our set together. Much like New Edition’s set last year (Bunnies), it has no real plot but the big idea is positivity and being true to yourself, which I think we are really going to connect with.”