Show Me the Way
The day began as the Legacy Magic Show Choir shuffled onto their charter bus.
“Geez, even for a school day this feels early,” junior Julia Gassiot said as she placed her zebra pillow pet to her side and began playing Lady Gaga from her iPad.
“Oh! Can I play Temple Run on your iPad?” asked sophomore Brittney Linn, hoping to provide a buffer against the long bus ride to Duncan, Oklahoma.
The bus departed around 7:08 a.m. heading toward its first destination: Keller Central High School. The sun’s rays began to peek over the horizon more vividly than before as the bus pulled into the large, painted parking lot. The Magic Show Choir members shuffled their belongings as they made room for their busmates: the Keller Central Scarlets, one of Keller’s two competing show choirs. As the girls of Scarlet became situated and familiarized themselves with the Magic members, the bus driver reminded everyone of safety protocol and emergency procedure. After everyone took their seats and the driver returned from the other charter bus which ferried the Voices of Central, Keller’s varsity and mixed show choir, the bus pulled off towards Oklahoma.
The bus ride lasted around three hours with the show choirs reaching Duncan High School from Duncan, Oklahoma at 11:12 a.m. The parking lot of the high school was littered with the buses and students of competing high schools and middle schools. As the Scarlets’ call time for warm-up was at 12:45 p.m., Legacy’s choir director Mr. Adam Zrust stood up from the front of the bus, releasing the Magic and Scarlets for a quick lunch.
After returning to Duncan High School, the members of Magic went into the auditorium and took seats in the middle to watch the other show choirs. Magic, being the defending champions, was scheduled to perform last. The girls of Magic broke off in small groups to the foyer in order to begin curling their hair from their afternoon performance.
The competition carried on with no hitches until the director from Eisenhower High School from Lawton, Oklahoma asked to switch spots with the Magic Show Choir for an unknown convenience for the members of Eisenhower’s show choir. No longer performing last, Magic rushed to get ready and dressed for their new, much sooner call time.
Warm-up began at 3:10 p.m., as stage anxiety began to rise over the newer members of Magic.
“Oh my goodness, I’m so nervous,” worried freshman member Yesmeen Nazir as the show choir arranged their costumes and props back stage and as sophomore managers Randi Sessums and Hope Her helped the show band members set up amps.
The performance began with a luscious chord from the piano behind the risers. The chord rung across the auditorium as sophomore Ashley Meister took in a breath to begin her solo. The movement, “A New World” from Songs for a New World, continued as the stage lights beat down on the Magic Show Choir. The piece ended as sweat raced down their black tuxedos and pink dresses. After a brief applause, the ballad, “Show Me The Way” by Styx, began with a lyrical solo shared between seniors Emma Snow and Madison Davis. The intense section came to a close with a final vocal plea performed by all members of the show choir. The next song started with Magic racing off-stage as soloists Josh Tshibangu, junior, and Larisa Garza, sophomore, shared an affectionate duet in Sugarland’s “Stuck Like Glue”.
After the duet was complete, the remaining members of Magic returned to the stage, the girls wearing shimmering zebra-print dresses and the guys with their pink ties and handkerchiefs removed. The performance progressed into the final movement with the males of Magic again going off-stage for a second change of costume. After an earthy instrumental fill, the girls began to march their choreography for the final song, “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)” as performed by Shakira. After the first verse, the guys returned to the stage wearing their tuxedo pants and jerseys, carrying soccer balls in their right arms. The show ended and Magic was greeted with a wall of applause from the audience.
“Wow! We did so [well], guys!” shouted Meister after the show choir exited the stage.
The show choir members rushed to change back into their street clothes and get into the now musky auditorium. Awaiting final results, Magic along with the other show choirs waited anxiously for awards to start. Students from the host school, Duncan High School, jumped on stage beckoning others to join them in a yearly tradition. On stage, a circle formed out of members from just about every competing school to play a game known simply as “Ride That Pony”. After about twenty minutes of game play, the award ceremony began. Magic cheered happily upon finding out that fellow Texas school Keller Central’s Voices of Central had won sweepstakes and taken first place. Despite losing their title of champions, the members of Magic were anything but down.
“The place doesn’t matter; everyone did their best and had fun doing it,” senior Andrew Wittry said while chatting with fellow member sophomore Timothy Cummings.
After a short meeting around a tree in Duncan’s courtyard, Magic rushed to their bus to get seated and ready for dinner. Emotions ran high on the bus as Keller’s show choirs had received tragic news: the head director’s husband had passed away earlier in the day. With mixed feelings, both Keller and Legacy’s show choirs braced themselves for the long ride home, stopping for about an hour and a half for dinner at the Golden Corral.
“Hey Z,” shouted junior Jessica Thornberry from her seat. “Try to keep us out [until] midnight so we don’t have to go to first block.” The concentration of people shifted backwards in the bus as a games and singing started to take place in the back of the bus.
After dropping the Scarlets off in Keller, the bus turned toward Legacy. The bus arrived near 10:30 p.m., all the members of Magic tired but happy with themselves and performance.
“We may not have won,” Snow said, “but everyone gave their best effort and left their hearts out on the stage.”