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Grosse Pointe Farms

February 11, 2014

South choir students to perform in Europe

By April Lehmbeck
C & G Staff Writer

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Grosse Pointe South chorus members Nathan Turner and Margaret Bove perform a song from the Broadway production of Cinderella during a Jan. 30 concert.

GROSSE POINTE FARMS — Coming off a big win during a competition in Ohio, the Grosse Pointe South choirs were gearing up for some big performances for crowds on an international scale.

Students from the choirs at Grosse Pointe South were planning to fly to Europe Feb. 14 to spend a week performing in Paris and London.

“We are heading to London and France to allow the students the cultural experience of performing abroad,” Choir Director Christopher Pratt said in an email, adding that they plan an international trip every other year.

“I think opportunities like these are — for many students — once-in-a-lifetime opportunities and allow them to experience differences in culture and tradition than what they may be familiar with in the U.S.,” Pratt said.

The Pointe Singers, the Tower Belles and the South Singers will have students on the trip. The school’s fourth choir, a freshman girls choir, will not be represented because students need to be at least sophomores to attend the international choir tour.

The students are excited for the performances, as well as the experience of visiting another country.

Senior Emma Aboukasm said she’s looking forward to “just experiencing the culture.”

“I’m personally really excited about the food and shopping,” she added.

Aboukasm also went on the trip two years ago to Italy, where she had a memorable experience performing in several locations.

“We would tour around, and if we found a cathedral, we would stop and sing,” she said. “It was very impromptu.”

When it comes to getting ready for a trip like this, they’ll be relying on the many hours of rehearsals they’ve been doing all year for various performances.

“We’ve been busy,” junior Frank Thams said of the work they put in all year. “It never stops.”

The choirs from Grosse Pointe South are no strangers to performing for big crowds. They recently won big at the 21st annual Findlay Fest Show Choir Competition in Findlay, Ohio.

The Tower Belles were named the Women’s Grand Champion with a big lead over the second-highest performing group. The most dynamic performer was sophomore Bianca Calisi.

The Pointe Singers also won big when they were named Grand Champion Show Choir during the competition. Aboukasm earned Best Female Soloist at the competition for one of her performances, and Junior Jack Kay earned Best Male Soloist for one of his. The most dynamic performer of that group was Grace Muawad.

The South Singers received a runner-up trophy, with sophomore Evelyn Brady earning accolades as the most dynamic performer of that group.

Yet, despite all of their experience and honors for their performances in the United States, performing in London and Paris offers them a unique view of what it’s like to perform on the world stage.

“What’s exciting about it is we don’t know how big the crowds will be,” senior Jack Daley said.

Senior Loris Dennis said parents are excited to see the students have the experience, including Dennis’ mother, who is heading out with the students as a chaperone.

“I’m going to find it hard to get through this week of school,” Thams said.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer April Lehmbeck at alehmbeck@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1043.