Say yes to the set


Elizabeth Reiher

During a performance from last year, senior Kennedy Kramer sings a solo at Showzam Jan. 24. Innovation was undefeated all of last years season, with a total of five Grand Champion titles.

The twirl of dresses, the bright lights illuminating the stage, and the harmony of students; a finished show choir’s show. However, most people do not think to look past this image.

The process for a good show is one that takes many months and a lot of patience from the director, choir members, band members, and crew members.

“I start choosing my songs in the spring usually for the next coming year,” Hannah Ryan, Director of Innovation, said.

Synergy director Samantha Robilliard is constantly looking for songs that the choir can perform. “I’m always keeping my ears open,” she said. “Listening for songs that are maybe on the radio or other show choirs are doing.”

Ryan has some of the same methods for finding different tracks. “Sometimes there are songs that I’ve had in the back of my mind for years,” she said. “Other times I get suggestions from students.” Ryan also uses Spotify and Pandora to help find songs.

While finding the songs might seem easy, copyright makes this process harder. “It takes about two to three months to get the entire show picked,” Robilliard said.

Copyright is used to protect other people’s work. Some works are free use which means that anyone can use the work without asking the owner for permission. Works that are under copyright are only usable through expressed permission of the owner.

Robillard goes through an online company called Tresóna. She picks out the songs she wants and then Tresóna emails her when they have confirmation of rights for the songs, if they do not already have them.

“Some songs cost more than others,” Robilliard said. “They also have a list of songs that are already available which sometimes are less expensive.”

While Tresóna is a useful tool for the show choir directors, some songs are harder to get. The arrangers the directors use will only arrange a song if they have the rights to it. The problem the directors run into sometimes is that the owners will not give permission without seeing the arrangement first.

The radio is not the only way the directors find songs. The show choirs also have a project that each member takes part in, where they create their own show. The show cannot just be random songs that the student likes and would like to perform, but a show that flows and could potentially be performed.

“There’s really not a theme [this year],” Robilliard said. “Except that it’s a little bit of being lost, not exactly knowing who you are, then finding you want to make a difference in this world.”

Sophomore Tabitha Doherty, a member of the crew, has similar thoughts on the show set list. “I feel with quite a few of our songs they have a lot of meaning,” Doherty said. “Our ballad, “I Was Here” by Beyonce, is a really great one because it gives a large amount of emotion. Stating that I was here and I lived and I loved and I did all of this stuff.”