Center Stage wins Grand Champions for the first time

Katie+Kenney%2C+sophomore%2C+applies+Miranda+Thein%E2%80%99s%2C+junior%2C+makeup.+After+doing+hair+and+makeup%2C+Center+Stage+performed+in+Danville+High+School%2C+Ill.%2C+where+they+won+Grand+Champions.+
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Center Stage wins Grand Champions for the first time

Katie Kenney, sophomore, applies Miranda Thein’s, junior, makeup. After doing hair and makeup, Center Stage performed in Danville High School, Ill., where they won Grand Champions.

Katie Kenney, sophomore, applies Miranda Thein’s, junior, makeup. After doing hair and makeup, Center Stage performed in Danville High School, Ill., where they won Grand Champions.

Media by Madelyn Berzon

Katie Kenney, sophomore, applies Miranda Thein’s, junior, makeup. After doing hair and makeup, Center Stage performed in Danville High School, Ill., where they won Grand Champions.

Media by Madelyn Berzon

Media by Madelyn Berzon

Katie Kenney, sophomore, applies Miranda Thein’s, junior, makeup. After doing hair and makeup, Center Stage performed in Danville High School, Ill., where they won Grand Champions.

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Beginning at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 2. MHS Center Stage started getting ready with hair and makeup, after which they had only 25 minutes to warm up before performing for an award they have never earned before.

Center Stage had no idea that night they would be the Grand Champions of the 22nd Annual Midwest Classic Show Choir Competition at Danville High School, Illinois.

Center Stage also won best band, best vocals, best female soloist, Rebecca Jaegers, and male soloist, Austin Cochran.

Miranda Thein, junior, said the group has been rehearsing five pieces: “Fire under my feet” by Leona Lewis, a combination of “Flares” by the Script and “Fire” by Gavin DeGraw, “You are enough” by Sleeping at Last, “One perfect moment” from the musical Bring it On and a combination of “Turn it up” by Cierra and “Burn” by Ellie Goulding, for their performance in class as well as out of school since October.

“I’ve probably done each of those dances like 112 times,” Thein said.

Throughout the rehearsals, Thein said, the group sometimes does get distracted since they are such good friends but were still able to remain focused to chase the title of Grand Champions.

“It was great because we worked so hard,” Thein said. “It was cool… to see our work actually paid off.”

Patrick Wiecko, senior, plays tenor sax in the band that plays for Center Stage and won the Best Band award recognizing the highest scoring student band.

Wiecko said they started learning the pieces in mid-December, giving them only a month and a half to prepare.

“Fire under my feet” by Leona Lewis, Wiecko said, is his favorite piece to perform because it is so upbeat.

After hearing that they won Best Band, Wiecko said he was filled with joy but also a bit of amazement.

“We came into the season kind of scared because we lost a lot of seniors,” Wiecko said. “But somehow this year we pulled it off.”

Jason Winter, choir director, said that rehearsals consist of much more than only him and the students practicing their songs; they also bring in choreographers, work on vocal charts and making changes to some numbers as time goes on.

“The show continues to evolve through the season,” Winter said. “The show that we put on at our first competition is not be the same as the show we put on at our last competition.”

As a group there are times when the students get frustrated, Winter said. So as a director, his toughest job is to keep the group positive and still focused to reach their goals.

Winter said when they announced that Center Stage won, he was mainly filled with pride and happiness for the students.

“I’ve been doing this for a very long time,” Winter said. “For me it is not so much about the awards and the hardware as it is the successful performances that they put on.”

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