Mixed company kicks off competition season


By Caley Griebenow, associate editor-in-chief
Show choir director Jennifer Troiano wasn’t expecting much; she thought 20, maybe 30 audience members at the most would show up. In reality, around 100 people flocked to the Prospect cafeteria on Thursday Jan. 12 to see Mixed Company’s first performance of the year.
The “mock” choir show was held so the group could run through their 17-minute show, “All Good People,” complete with costumes and microphones.
However, there were doubts that they were going to be ready to perform their show that night.
“We were going to cancel it because I didn’t think we were going to be ready,” Troiano said. “Then the kids were like ‘No let’s do it; have a show [and] let’s invite people. So I thought, well they’re the ones that have to be up on stage and they feel confident, so let’s do it.”
Seniors Maggie Ward and John Zach were both happy with their first performance, as they focused on polishing their vocals and choreography in the practices leading up to the performance. However, they both recognize there is room for improvement since it was only the first show.
“[The show was] good considering where we were two weeks ago,” Ward said. “We’ve made a lot of progress since then.”DSC_0266
Mixed Company then traveled to Burlington, Wisconsin on Saturday Jan 14. for their first official competition. They placed second runner up, or third place. For Troiano, she doesn’t set specific goals at competitions; she would rather see the kids perform to their fullest potential.
“I just want the kids to do their best and have fun,” Troiano said. “There’s not a lot of expectations from me to win. I just want them to be the best they can be.”
Members of Mixed Company have been practicing since the beginning of the school year to prepare for the competition season, which runs from late January to March. Their rehearsals range from three to four hours after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Many members also have to balance musical rehearsals and speech practice. Their ability to stay on top of all their activities is something Troiano admires.
“They’ve done amazing work in our rehearsals considering a lot of them went to state with the musical ‘Trail to Oregon,’ which is a very demanding show,” Troiano said. “They came right off of that and they were ready for our first competition. They’re really busy; their after school lives are really busy. They love doing what they do, but sometimes you don’t have a lot of energy to do stuff nonstop. But they stepped up and they were ready.”DSC_0001
For Zach, he enjoys show choir because it’s a unique experience in high school.
“There’s nothing really like show choir,” Zach said. “I’ll probably be a little nostalgic when show choir is over. [It’s taught me] that it’s not all about trophies. It’s about you doing your best.”
Neither Troiano nor Zach looks forward to one particular competition, but they look forward to continually improving.
“[During their first performance], I finally had that feeling that they’re ready,” Troiano said. “The magic is there. They start singing and you get goosebumps…they’re locking in vocally together, they’re all on the same page and participating as a team. They’re only going to get better from here.”