Weather Forecast


High school choir prepares for prestigious show

Members of Vocalmotive perform in front of the high school student body Thursday. The Show Choir has been selected to compete March 23 in the Show Choir National Championship Series in Chicago. Monte Draper | Bemidji Pioneer

BEMIDJI – On the heels of winning Grand Champion last weekend, the Bemidji High School Show Choir Vocalmotive was selected to participate in the Show Choir National Championship Series March 23 in Chicago.

On Thursday morning, Vocalmotive showcased their routine to the student body. Joining them as opening act was the Jazz Band and Chamber Orchestra.

Vocalmotive is in the middle of its 18th season under the direction of choir director Chris Fettig. Bemidji has been selected to represent Minnesota competing at Genesee Theatre against eight other show choirs representing eight states.

Show Choir is financed by parents and fundraisers. The selection costs $350 to each of the 70 students and a $10,000 bussing/housing expense.

“We are looking to the public and businesses to help sponsor a student or help with the bussing,” Fettig said. “Every little bit helps.”

There’s also plenty of logistics involved.

To perform, the choir must move 52 performers, 10 band members and their band instruments, nine technicians, 20 set props and more than 500 costume pieces during a three-day period. The plan is to take two busses for the 12 hour drive to Chicago and use a special trailer with the equipment and costumes.

This year’s show is “Bring Me Back to Life,” with six different song sets.

“We always put together a theme, music and lyrics that reflect those feelings, very artistic,” Fettig said.

This year’s theme is a transition of life that blends and mimic’s life experiences, from being single, settling down to an empty nest, he said.

 The ending song uses sign language, not simply movements and hand gestures by the dancers. Not many catch the message.

This year’s performers have 30 seniors, the largest in the program’s history. Four-year veteran Jaimee Lusby said it’s a difficult show because so many different characters use exact gestures, requiring each performer to concentrate on so many fine details throughout the show.

“The details were such a challenge,” said Rochelle Stevens, another four-year veteran. “We held extra weekend practices to work them out.”

Bemidji show choirs, Vocalmotive and La Vaco Ballo, will perform at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday night’s “Pops Concert” in the high school auditorium. The final fundraiser will be the Home Free/ Show Choir Concert on March 15-16.