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South’s spectacular singing

Grosse Pointe North, the host of South’s choir performances for years, was packed on all fronts. The ticket line wrapped around a brick corner, and, comfortably sardined in velvet rows of seats, community members ranging from parents, teachers, students and board members made small talk as they waited for the thrilling hush that would fall along with the lights.

Mari Mueller ‘24, who joined choir in her junior year and is now in both South and Pointe Singers respectively, emphasized the relationship between audience and performer.

“I feel like when the crowd is louder, we also feed off of that energy and it just hypes us up, and there’s such a good vibe,” Mueller said.

To Mueller, while the performance itself is a showcase of their work, the true preparation comes during an intense week of rehearsals called “tech week.”

“The snow days and the cold days really set us off, but we still came to rehearse at points and rehearsed on our own at home,” Mueller said. “So, it’s more so the rehearsal leading up to comp that makes preparation really work.”

After watching her friend in a previous “Sounds of the Season” performance, Mueller knew she wanted in on that community. Now, she’s fully immersed, leading a chant for the South Singers to excite them for upcoming sets, along with participating in a Pointe Singers circle to discuss what the songs meant to each singer.

“I just love interacting with them, I love being in class with them, I just love them,” Mueller said.

Near the conclusion of the show, Beth Walsh-Sahutske, school counselor, choir parent and representative of the choir booster, stood with her husband, whom she poked fun at for his perpetual silence. Although this is Sahutske’s second child to go through choir, she wasn’t super involved until then.

“I had a sliver of an idea of what it took to have a successful choir,” Walsh-Sahutske said. “So, as I started to get involved and I realized that it really requires a huge team to come together on this, it gave me more energy to get in, dig in, pull other people in, and build to make this happen.”

As she emphasized both on stage and off, Walsh-Sahutske firmly believes that so much of a student’s success in school and beyond comes from belonging.
“The beautiful thing about choir is that they build that sense of belonging partly because they have to spend so much time together to do what they’re doing, but also infusing it with the joy of social events and silly events, and things that really can make them vulnerable in front of each other that support that sense of mutual respect,” Walsh-Sahutske said. “That’s the buy-in, that’s the magic to me. If you can build that and people look forward to these events, then working hard is not as hard. They have that accomplishment of working hard, but it doesn’t feel super painful because they get so much joy from it.”

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Julia Kado
Julia Kado, Web Editor
For Jules Kado ’24, writing for The Tower has been a long time coming. Ever since she was a child, Kado has had a passion for writing. “I would carry around a little notebook with me when I was a kid and write down little stories,” Kado said. “So when I got to South, I knew journalism was definitely for me.” Kado has enjoyed writing for The Tower so much that she now plans to explore a future in journalism. She also hopes to one day become a published writer. Now in her second year on staff, Kado is taking on the role of web editor, a position she is very excited to try out. Kado is extremely confident that there are more doors than wheels in the world.

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