Student Arranges Music For CG Choirs For First Time in CG History

By: Taylor Ward

Photography: Noah Barajas

Wilson Smith sings a solo at a choir competition. While Smith has not been able to perform at every show this year, he has found another way to make sure he is involved year-around in his passion.

Wilson Smith sings a solo at a choir show. Smith now works behind the scenes for choir productions to make them the best that they can be.

Many students involved in Center Grove’s performing arts program participate in behind-the-scenes preparation for productions, such as building sets, assembling risers and crafting costumes. But no student has ever helped with the actual creation of the show’s content, like writing scripts or arranging music…until now.


Wilson Smith, a junior, holds the distinction of being the first student at Center Grove to help arrange music for the choral program. Until this year, the sheet music for each song was put together by staff members. Now, Smith assists choir directors Jenn Dice and Jared Norman and the principle accompanist and arranger Greg Sanders with compositions.


“My job is to write the different voice parts for the choir,” Smith said. “I look at the melody line and try to figure out different harmony parts that support the melody line and create one really awesome sound.”


Smith helps arrange music for all of the high school choirs, including competition music, which is kept secret from choir members until the directors decide to reveal it. Despite this special knowledge, he is not involved in song selection.


“I just do what Mr. Sanders and/or Mrs. Dice tells me,” Smith said. 


The process of arranging music is multi-layered, and requires preparation before it can really begin.


“The first step in arranging or rearranging a song is to create a roadmap. Basically, a roadmap is to an arrangement as an outline is to an essay. I try to put all of my ideas onto a piece of paper, organize them, and work from there,” Smith said.


As involved as he is in the process, Smith says that much of the arranging is still done by staff member Greg Sanders.


“I sort of serve as his apprentice,” Smith said. “I still have a lot more to learn about music theory.”


Smith says that his favorite piece to help arrange is Sound System’s second competition number, “The World Turned Upside Down,” a medley of songs from the Tony award winning Best Musical Hamilton.


Smith also holds another special distinction in the choral music program at Center Grove; he is the only student with “perfect pitch.” This allows him to immediately know how each pitch sounds, so he can give starting notes to the choir.

“It definitely makes it easier to arrange, read, and understand music,” Smith said about his ability.


The gift is rare. Some studies show that only one out of every ten thousand people hold the ability to hear pitches without error. Smith uses his gifts to assist the choir directors as best he can.


Cruz Cruises Through Greenwood

Jockamo Upper Crust Pizza was packed to its limit capacity last night. People were waiting outside the doors so that when people came out, more people could go in. As amazing as Jockamo’s pizza is, most people were not there to satisfy their hunger.


Senator Ted Cruz visited Jockamo Upper Crust Pizza last night on his campaign trail. He did not make a speech, but instead spoke individually to many people and shook hands.


Senator Ted Cruz shakes hands and talks to people at Jockamo Upper Crust Pizza.

“We’re gonna repeal every word of Obamacare,” Cruz said to a resounding cheer.


For voters, it was a good opportunity to get to know someone they may be voting for. Two teachers were told a story about one of Cruz’ rolemodels, his fifth grade teacher.


Senator Ted Cruz shakes hands and talks to people at Jockamo Upper Crust Pizza.

“I’m here [at Jockamo’s] because I wanted to come out and see who I’ll be voting for in the primary election,” senior Christina Randall said.


Not everyone there considered Cruz a favorite. But this year such campaign stops may make a bigger difference.


By the time the Indiana primary rolls around, there is usually a decided Republican and Democratic candidate for the primaries. This year, however, the Hoosier vote counts and many, like Randall, are taking advantage of the candidates’ interests in our state to figure out who they are going to vote for.

A crowd surrounds Cruz to try and get pictures and get pictures and meet the Senator.

A crowd surrounds Cruz to try and get pictures and meet the Senator.


“I haven’t finalized my voting choice, but I admire Ted Cruz as a candidate,” Randall said. “I wanted to come out and meet him in person.”


Since it was a smaller setting than the Johnson County Fairgrounds Cruz visited later yesterday, many people were able to get really close to the Senator. Randall was able to even get a picture.

Ted Cruz and Christina Randall pose for a picture. Photo provided by: Christina Randall

Ted Cruz and Christina Randall pose for a picture. Photo provided by: Christina Randall


“It was awesome, the first thing he did was ask me my name, which was really cool,” she said. “I said that I looked forward to seeing what stances he took on different policies and he said that he looked forward to working together.”


Tonight Hillary Clinton will be campaigning at the Munster Steel Company and the AM General Plant as Bill Clinton campaigns for her at her campaign office in Indianapolis. Bernie Sanders will be campaigning at Purdue University on Wednesday and at Indiana University later that same day. The primary is May 3.

College Basketball Heats up for March Madness

Written by Jackson Williams

With March Madness on the horizon, college basketball teams are in the heat of conference play; every win and loss matters at this point. Qualifying for the NCAA tournament is tough when considering subjective factors such as quality of wins, bad losses and strength of schedule. The state of Indiana’s college basketball teams are improving their standing with the selection committee day-by-day.

Indiana and Purdue are two contenders to win the Big Ten conference. Indiana is currently sitting at  8-1 and a 18-4 overall record, though their conference schedule is about to get tough. Purdue is sitting at 7-3 in the Big Ten and 19-4 overall, and after playing the top teams in the Big Ten they are predicted to dominate the bottom of the conference.

Because of the close proximity of several major universities, students often have the opportunity to take in these games in person, not just watch them on TV. For junior Jacob Sanders, visits to Bloomington only happen a couple times a year. Although he doesn’t go often, his trips to Indiana University games are always memorable.

“With 17,456 seats sold out in Assembly Hall every night at Indiana University, there is no college basketball experience like it,” Sanders said.  “The students are really into the game. Being down by the floor really enhances your experience, and you get to see how huge the players are.”

Northwest of Bloomington lies Mackey Arena, home of the Purdue Boilermakers. Freshman Tristan Bufkin attends quite a few games at Purdue each season.

“Mackey is fun in the sense that when you sit close to the coaches and you can hear how intense they are,” Bufkin said.  “Hearing them talking and getting so into the game makes my experience better. The crowd is also a huge factor when you go to a game there. The louder the crowd, the more fun the game is.”

However, it’s not just the Big 10 schools that are making a run at the NCAA tournament.

Butler started out the year as a ranked team and fell from No. 18 to the ranks of the unranked after starting Big EAst play 3-6, with a 14-7 record overall. With a strong Big East conference including three teams in the top 10, the Bulldogs are going to have to find a way make it to the top. Butler has a history of being underdogs (no pun intended), with a similar situation in 2011 when Butler started out with a record of 12-9 and finished the season in the National Championship game in Houston.

With Butler located in the heart of Indianapolis,  Hinkle Fieldhouse is one of the most convenient places for Center Grove students to go catch a college basketball game.

“Hinkle Fieldhouse is one of the greatest atmospheres in the country to watch a basketball game. Between the great brand of basketball and history of Hinkle, no other place beats it,” sophomore Brad Boswell said.

Whether students are catching a game at Mackey Arena or dressed head-to-toe in cream and crimson, live college basketball will always provide an unforgettable experience.


Girls Basketball Conference Championship Preview

IMG_1352When the girls basketball team travels to Lawrence North for tonight’s game, they won’t just be playing their last conference game of the season. They will be playing for a conference championship, an honor senior Bri Gliesmann knows would give this team confidence heading into the post-season. “Winning conference would mean a lot to us,” Gliesmann said. “It would mean that we are able to play with and even beat the top teams in the state.” But, for a third year in a row, Center Grove’s shot at the title comes down to the last conference game of the season. Two years ago, the Trojans lost to LN 57-62 in overtime and fell 63-78 last season. Lawrence North has won the past nine meetings between the schools, but the Trojans hope to end that streak tonight. “A couple challenges are knowingin the back of our minds that theyare stronger and more athletic than us,” Gliesmann said.IMG_1108 (1) That strength and athleticism has resulted in a perfect 19-0 start for the Wildcats. “ I think that they are the most athletic team in the state,” Sanders said. “They’ve got size and strength and quickness. Once they get into the paint, they are just really good. They are also really defensively quick and they can force turnovers extremely well.” However, Gliesmann knows that the team has what it takes to win the school’s first conference title in girls basketball since 2006. “We can win this game if we just think about ourselves and think about each other and don’t get down on ourselves,” Gliesmann said. We cannot worry about what they are going to do.” With post-season play less than two weeks away, CG hopes to use this game as a measuring stick. “If we beat them, or hang with them, it will give us the confidence we need to tell us that we can beat the top teams, like Bedford North Lawrence or Columbus North,” Gliesmann said. For Coach Shawn Sanders, a victory tonight would be one for the record books, as the girls basketball team has only won the conference title three other times. “Winning this game will give us the confidence we need to keep pushing forward in the post-season because we only have two more games until sectionals,” Sanders said. Winning this game will also give CG something they have been working for all season: a conference title.