For the majority of students at South, October is a month of returning to normalcy from homecoming and perhaps planning a Halloween party. For the students in South’s four choirs, however, it’s already time to prepare classical and musical theatre selections for their annual holiday concert.
On Thursday, Dec. 5 and Saturday, Dec. 7, at 7 p.m. and 2 p.m. respectively, Grosse Pointe South Choir students will perform their latest repertoire at the annual Sounds of the Season concert at the Christian A. Fenton Performing Arts Center at Grosse Pointe North High School.
According to the Grosse Pointe South Choir Boosters website, these particular performances showcase “a mix of holiday classics, showstopper vocal performances and fun seasonal twists.” All four choirs, as well as The Suspensions, an extracurricular a cappella ensemble, will sing.
“We have classical pieces, musical theatre pieces and interactive caroling planned for this show,” Pointe Singer Ethan Harr ’22 said. “It’s a great variety, and allows for a wonderful holiday experience for families.”
As the second concert of the school year, this show brings “wonderful, engaging numbers” from the choirs– something audiences expect at every concert. However, there are some aspects that set this performance apart, according to accompanist Richard Wolf.
“The primary thing you wouldn’t normally see at the other concerts are the Christmas decorations,” Wolf said. “On the back of the stage, we decorate with all sorts of trees, glitter and tinsel. We also have many individual solos and a portion of the show called Santa Tap, where eight dancing Santa Clauses take the stage to perform a tap routine. From an audience standpoint, most people enjoy that part of the show the most.”
Pointe Singer Gabriela Moncivais ’20 is a fourth-year Santa Tapper, having served as an alternate her freshman year. She said her final performances of the routine are going to be “bittersweet.”
“As a senior, it’s exciting because I can see what I’ve worked towards and see the different things I’m leaving behind,” Moncivais said. “Even though the Santa costume is really hot, I’m very sad because these two shows are the last times I’ll be performing the dance.”
In addition to the classic pieces of the show, the choirs are adding an additional concert and trying to get younger children in the community involved, according to Wolf.
“We added the Saturday matinee this year so that more families can come and see the show,” Wolf said. “We’re also going to be putting on Cookies with Santa. This will take place before the Saturday performance, and it allows parents with younger children to meet Santa and spend a little bit of time before the afternoon concert with other families. I’m hoping everybody has tons and tons of fun.”
Moncivais said the biggest piece of the show is the Pointe Singers’ rendition of “O Holy Night,” arranged specifically for their choir and sung annually.
“The song is beautifully arranged,” Moncivais said. “It’s one of the best songs we sing in the entire year. It’s definitely one we want to do justice, because in years past it has always been incredible. As Pointe Singers, we are very focused on this piece.”
In general, Moncivais noted, the choir aims to spread holiday cheer to the Grosse Pointe community through their performances. As the most interactive concert of the year, Sounds of the Season allows families to come together to enjoy a night of singing, dancing and holiday joy.
“Hopefully our choirs will get people in the holiday spirit,” Moncivais said. “We love getting the community excited. Sounds of the Season really allows the community together as #onegp.”
Tickets for both performances can be purchased online at gpsouthchoir.org. Online ticket sales stop two hours prior to show time. Tickets are available at the door by cash or check prior to each performance.