ELDON — Katie Streeby, Cardinal School show choir director and drama instructor, always wanted to direct her own high school show choir. It’s a thought she played around for some time before she started it in August 2019.
“It always fascinated me, I didn’t know what it truly was at first as I have never been in show choir,” Streeby, “but I wanted to give it a try because I always loved music and wanted to provide a different experience and have people see the difference between show choir and choir. Both are two different worlds.”
Streeby said the 13 show choir members have been tirelessly rehearsing. In the summer, students spent six to seven hours rehearsing and usually rehearse two hours after school. Streeby relies on a choreographer to help students dance. She herself writes the music and the show. Then there is a parent volunteer who deals with costumes.
The choir’s debut performance came at the Iowa High School Music Association (IHSM) State Contest Feb. 5. Nerves were all around on students as they got ready to take off before noon.
“It’s understandable as to why they would be nervous,” Streeby said, “after all it’s the first performance and they’re going to be judged and get scores of one to five.”
Streeby saw anxiety on Madison Langford’s face and told her she’d be okay. Langford nodded, and said she would be fine. A high school senior, she has performed in front of crowds since sixth grade. She said she could handle it and thought of some positive thoughts. She said performing is a way of life.
“I love the response from people,” she said. “I enjoy performing and it makes me feel good and I love making them smile. There’s so much work with so many pieces that come together, but I love it. There were long days, but everyone became a family.”
Streeby agreed on the family dynamic. She hopes to increase numbers in the years to come, willing to put in the work.
“I really just want our numbers to go up,” she said, “we may never end up with 50, but that’s okay. We don’t have to have 50 people to be successful.”
For Langford, show choir is different from theatre and choir. She has loved her time and also said she learned something.
“It’s so different,” Langford said, “it combines everything. There’s the vocal aspect, there’s the dancing. We’re here and it’s a party. Its’ got a musical theatre type of feel. It taught me a lot of discipline. There’s a lot that goes into putting on a show.”
Streeby agreed. “You get to tell a story that is about someone else,” she said, “you put on this dress and you get to become this person and live their experiences. It teaches you about humanity.”