By Angie Van Zee

Durand CUSD 322

DURAND – “Singnation”, previously known as “Singsation” and recently renamed because of trademark rights, is the Durand Show Choir’s annual three-day performance in mid-March. For me, I always associate this traditional community event with the coming of spring, so maybe we should rename it “Springsation!”. After all, the show coincides with saying good bye to ol’ man winter, anticipating longer days filled with warm sunshine, and bright colored flowers beginning to bloom. It’s also a metaphor (too obvious?) for how we feel about our show choir seniors, the Class of 2015. These students are saying good-bye to Durand’s stage, anticipating their life as college students, and looking forward to their bright futures as they take their experiences and knowledge from school years to life.

A favorite part of being involved with Durand Show Choir is interviewing the seniors. This year, I spent a little over an hour with Eve Evenson, Paige Levings, Kate Palmer, Molly Satness, Gabrielle Schafer, Quentin VanDeWoestyne and Erin Vormezeele. Eve Evenson is the newbie in the group as this is her first year participating in show choir. She recalls having her friends encourage her to be in the show in previous years while sometimes complaining about how many rehearsals they attended. She is enjoying it as a senior.

“I’m so nervous about doing this, but I wish I would have done it before my senior year,” said Eve.

The rest of the students are show choir veterans, being involved during all of their junior high and high school years.

“We’re like family,” said Kate Palmer. “A really big, singing, and dancing family.”

I always ask them about their favorite memories from their years in show choir. This class of seniors had so many things to share, but space here is limited so I picked some fun ones. Gabi Schafer remembered Mr. Cayari, a previous director, sitting on an exercise ball trying to keep his balance and belting out the lyrics to “Splish Splash”. It’s an image that is still funny to all of them. Kate Palmer remembers Miss Smith, the current director and who is somewhat height challenged, trying to run and jump on the stage and ending up “star fished on her face”. Miss Smith happened to overhear this comment and responded with, “I don’t know what you are talking about.” That made them all laugh. Molly Satness mentioned watching the DVD’s of the performances together and how, one year, they watched a certain student (initials J.J.) fall gracefully on stage, over and over again and laughed every single time they watched it. This again caused them all to laugh out loud. Quentin, as the only boy, remembers accidentally walking back stage (which the high school girls use as a locker room). The cloud of hair spray, the smell of Subway mixed with the smell of burnt hair, and attempting in the dark to put lipstick on straight, all memories of their years in show choir.

Asked what advice they would pass on to the new 6th grade show choir students, Erin Vormezeele said, “Embrace it, because it goes by really fast – smile BIG!” (these seniors are known for their smiles!).

“Have fun,” Paige Levings said.

Every single senior agreed, “NEVER eat food in your costumes if Barb Clay is anywhere in town!”

For the students who will be seniors next year, these words of wisdom were shared; Molly encourages them to be leaders, and make it fun for everyone else. Kate said don’t be afraid to be goofy because it makes the freshman feel comfortable quicker. Paige, Gabi, and Eve all said to enjoy every moment!

The students were thoughtful in thanking special people – Miss Smith for her boundless energy (Paige), never giving up on the guys (Quentin), and her support and sense of humor (Erin). They all acknowledged how hard she works. Thanks to their favorite Fairy Godmother, Barb Clay, for making them sparkle and look good in anything! A big high-five to their classmate, Gage Cornish, who supports them year after year, whether they are on the field, the court, or the stage. They wish all fans were like Gage! Lastly, thanks to families and audience members for supporting the show.

As a community, we have watched these students blossom and mature to their full potential. It was a privilege and an honor to spend time with them, and in my opinion, they are one of the most caring, fun, and mature group of seniors to graduate from Durand School. Congratulations to the Class of 2015. You will be missed!

“Singnation XIX, Fun in the Sun” will be performed on Friday, March 13 and Saturday, March 14 at 7 p.m., and Sunday, March 15 at 2 p.m. Seating begins 30 minutes before show time. Please join us in saying good-bye to our show choir seniors!

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