Broadway Masterclass

Written By Taylor Ward

Last year, the CG Choirs went to Broadway. This year, Broadway came to the CG Choirs.

On Friday, Feb. 24, New York actor and musician Kyle Riabko visited Center Grove to conduct a masterclass and Q&A with the students. Riabko kicked off the afternoon by singing a few songs by Burt Bacharach, composer of famous songs such as “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on my Head” and “Close to You.” The Broadway performer accompanied himself on guitar.

The actor and singer’s performance credits are numerous, including a lead role in the original Broadway cast of Spring Awakening, a major role on Broadway in Hair and a recurring appearance on the hit TV show 90210.

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Broadway performer visits CG Choir

Riabko was brought in through an organization called The Cabaret. Located in downtown Indianapolis, The Cabaret brings in Broadway stars and working musicians to perform songs and monologues at their venue in the city. Recently, the organization has been seeking to provide local musically-inclined students with an opportunity to meet and learn from real, working show business professionals. Their mission: “to elevate and promote the cabaret art form by presenting the finest in professional cabaret performances and developing the next generation of cabaret artists.”

After singing for the students, Riabko sat back and watched CG Sound System perform a number from their competition show. Once they had finished, he was highly complimentary, saying, “now I understand the wall of trophies.”

A couple of students also performed their own solo songs, including senior Adrianna Goss. Singing “Vanilla Ice Cream” from the musical She Loves Me, Goss said that “it was cool to show him some of the talent that makes up CG choirs.”

The excitement did not come without its nerves, however.

“I was a little nervous because I had seen him in one of my favorite TV shows, 90210,” said Goss.

Mr. Riabko provided plenty of performance advice to the choirs, but perhaps his biggest point to the students was this: “Always be performing. No matter where you are or what you’re doing, keep performing. It’s a gift you have to share with the world.”

Varsity Show Choirs Participate in Fall Bootcamp

Photos By Abigail Edminster

As the football team practices their blocking and the cross country team pushes their pace, the varsity choirs put their voices and rhythm to the test.  This past week, Sound System and Debtones both participated in “Bootcamp”.

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The Debtones

“In the mornings we work on vocals and then we break for lunch,” Sound System member Noah Wright said. “After lunch we come back for choreography with our instructor Andy Hanes.  When we finish choreography for the day we go to someone’s house for a party.  That routine is repeated every day for a week.”

The amount of time these performers spend together is essential to their chemistry on stage.

“We have themes every day and parties every night,” Debtones member Lauren Wong said. “The parties are important for the group to bond.”

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Sound System

“Parties are fun because it brings us closer as friends and a choir family,” Wright said.  “It helps a ton on stage with interacting with one another.”

But, the parties didn’t exactly stay at the houses this past week after bootcamp.

“Basically, the Debtones crashed our party on Tuesday night so we decided to get them back,” Sound System member Katie Swaney said. “We were going to fork Grace Maher’s house, but Greta [Andersen] told her so we forked Greta’s yard instead.”

Greta Andersen lays in her

Greta Andersen lays in her “forked” yard. The forks spell the initials “SS”

“Forking” is the act of putting hundreds of forks in a victim’s front yard. The prank is harmless, but obviously a hassle to clean up.  Other victims of houses targeted during the week included Morganne Keller and Hannah Strelow.

“It was like a game,” said Swaney.  “They would write the initials of the person who was next in forks.”

Whether its spelling out the names of next intended targets with kitchen utensils or choreographing their next dance number, the choirs of Center Grove certainly know how to have fun and make their team bonding time memorable.