‘You WISH’ you had seen Choir Cabaret …

… unless of course, you did, in which case you probably ‘Wish’ you could hear it one more time :)

MOUSE POWER: The full cast of Cabaret strike a pose as the opening number “Mickey Mouse Club “ from the show “Mickey Mouse Club”

Mia Terminella, Staff reporter

Junior Duval Bingham is a soccer player and a musical theatre major, but when Choir Cabaret rolls around each year, he adopts another role: muppet.

Along with fellow muppet by night and choir major by day, sophomore Corin Vandenburg, Bingham performed a duet for the second year in a row, singing “Life’s a Happy Song” from The Muppet Movie.

“It has been great to get to do a duet with Duval,” Vandenburg said. “We have become such great friends over the time spend rehearsing.”

Bingham said, “Doing a duet with Corin has been amazing; it was great to perform onstage.”

BEST BUDS: Juniors Corin Vandenberg and Duvall Bingham perform “Life’s a Happy sSong” from The Muppet Movie. The duo have performed a duet at the last two cabaret performances. “We have become such great friends over the time spent rehearsing,” Bingham said. Photo by David Winter.

The McCallum vocal studies department performed its annual cabaret performance Dec. 6-9 in the McCallum Arts Center. This year’s show was entitled, “When You Wish…,” and featured songs from many memorable (and some not so well-remembered) Disney movies and shows. The Fine Arts Academy majors had been preparing since October and had their premier performance on a Thursday night. Choir Cabaret is the choir program’s main fundraiser for the school year and features a live student orchestra, dancing and singing.

“When You Wish… ” was led by creative director Malcolm Nelson. Nelson was the longtime choir director prior to Allison Kashdan and returns to McCallum annually to be the creative director for Cabaret. “When You Wish” was chorally directed by Kashdan. Assistant choir director Tyler Mabry created arrangements for the show and also helped teach the music to the students.

The show also relied on technical direction provided by Fine Arts Academy tech students. Junior Stella Shenkman stage managed the show.

“It’s a really unique show to do because of how invested everyone on the team is,” said Shenkman, who added that “the tech only join the show a week before it happens and that is the first time we get to see it, so it kind of feels like a sprint to the finish line, which makes it really exciting.”

Fine Arts Academy orchestra students as well as collaborative piano students performed music for the show as well. Orchestra director Ricky Pringle arranged many of the scores for the show and conducted the pit orchestra. Collaborative piano director Kate Wiley coordinated the piano students who performed throughout the show.

Prior and during the start of rehearsals, the choir department held Saturday work days for the upcoming show. Choir students would go to the choir room on Saturday afternoons and help to build props and set pieces for the performance.

“It was a great way to see the show develop as we worked on it,” junior Sam Buford said. “We could eventually see the final product during the show.”

Unlike past shows, this year’s cabaret theme was all things Disney. The show featured a collection of Disney favorites, from Moana to the original Mickey Mouse. Vandenburg said that aspect of the show appealed to him.

Junior Abby Lerma sings “The Circle of Life” from The Lion King in the closing number of the first act. Photo by David Winter.

Similar to previous years, some of the cabaret numbers were choreographed and directed by students. Junior choir major Abby Lerma and McCallum alum Tryston Davis co-choreographed the company number from Frozen, “Fixer Upper.” Lerma also choreographed the number “Zero to Hero” from Hercules.
“It was very cool to be able to be in charge of a number,” Lerma said “I was very proud of how it looked when performed in the show.

The cabaret show had a series of solo performances showcasing seniors.

“It has been kind of surreal performing in my last cabaret,” choir senior Sophia Salo said. “I love the choir community because everyone is so supportive and works together to be the best choir they can be.”

Senior Sophia Salo sings “One day my prince will come” from “Snow White”. She was one of the several seniors who got a solo in the choir cabaret performance, which is the showcase for the program’s seniors. Photo by David Winter.

While this performance was the seniors’ last cabaret, they will perform one more time in the choir program’s spring concert.