LOLHS Show Choir Wins Silver Medals at First Competition



On Saturday, February 3, LOLHS’s show choir Amped Up traveled to Shepherd Hill High School in Dudley, Massachusetts to compete in the Central Massachusetts Show Choir Festival. Amped Up competed in the “small mixed” division against 5 other groups, but the competition included mixed and unisex groups from high schools of various sizes. Amped Up was created at the beginning of this school year, and the group members have been working on an 18-minute Broadway medley consisting of songs from musicals including Legally Blonde, Rent, and Mary Poppins.

To the group’s delight, Amped Up earned silver medals, a judges’ award for best overall soloists, and placed 4th in the division at the competition. Additionally, senior Anna Donato was selected for a judges’ award for Outstanding Performer. The group was shocked and honored to have done so well at the first competition and is now preparing for future competitions.

“Competing helped us learn how to be a team and work together,” says dance captain Elyza Learned. “We were able to bond over the fact that all of us were new to competing. It made us trust each other 100%”.

“It was also pretty awesome how supportive everyone was,” adds junior Jacob Olsen. “It was a totally different feel from a regular chorus concert because everyone cheers in the middle of the performance to show their support. And when we walked out, the other schools that watched us perform told us we were really great for our first year.”

Amped Up would like to express their gratitude to their choreographer Ashley Racicot, who works at Shepherd Hill High School as both a Spanish teacher and choreographer for their three show choirs. Ashley has worked with the Amped Up students this year, welcoming the new show choir by teaching them dance moves and having a little fun.

“She has a bunch of terms that she created for certain moves,” explains Hannah Morrison. “Like, for example, the shampoo, where you sweep your arms over your head like you’re shampooing your hair. They make it easier to learn the choreography because they’re in familiar terms that make sense to us because we’re not trained dancers. All her ‘Ashley-isms’ also just make it more fun to learn the choreography because she’ll tell us stories about how she came up with the name or other shows she’s used that move in, so we actually get to know her a bit too while we learn the choreography.”

Of course, the group wouldn’t even exist without the bravery of the director, Mrs. Pekar. Affectionately known as “KP”, she has guided Amped Up through rehearsals and competitions with confidence and grace.

“KP has been such an inspiration,” gushes senior dance captain Lauren Mitchell. “She literally has an unparalleled heart and soul for this kind of thing, and I’m absolutely positive each and every one of us has been inspired by the amount of courage and excitement she brings. Every day, she just has this twinkle in her eye that literally makes us all want to succeed. I don’t know what it is, but she just has this aura that makes me want to make her, myself, and the whole group proud.”

Amped Up is hosting a benefit concert at the Old Lyme Inn on February 25th from 5-7
p.m and is competing in different competitions in March and April. The group is excited to
continue performing and grateful for the experiences they’ve had thus far.