Sky View’s show choir, Encore, put on a superb show last week. The group of ten girls and ten guys performed hits from big band era to today at the Sky View auditorium. Kicking it off with Footloose they put everything they had into the show. “We are real proud of them, they are amazing,” said John Caldwell. John and his wife, Jen, are co-directors for Encore. “Every year when you think maybe we are going to cut back and do less and less — then you have the show and you think it is totally worth it.”
“I love our directors so much,” said Morgan Flandro after the show. “They have been there every step of the way helping everyone of us improve on our strengths and made us better performers over all.”
Flandro, a junior at Sky View, said this was her first year with the group. “I didn’t get to do it last year because I moved here from Colorado so I didn’t get to try out,” she said. “But this year I did and it has been a really fun experience.”
It’s clear when watching the show that the whole ensemble shares Flandro’s feelings. The energy and enthusiasm as they perform number after number is infectious. They began with Footloose but changed quickly into WWII era uniforms and dresses and start singing some of those wonderful songs of the era.
Then there is the dancing. There is a surprising range of dance talent in Encore’s repertoire. From Grant Fuller doing a wonderful tap routine to Marisa Allen and Nate Johnson swinging together on the stage to the whole cast moving in unison to 70s disco — they could dance. And when they moved to the soulful music of the Mowtown era, even the guys showed they could put the moves on as background dancers.
Yet with all this energy there is a softer side to the show. One of surprising feeling like the solo performance by Taylor Jensen. As he sat at the edge of the stage with just a guitar, he sings a song about a Christmas Truce in the trenches of World War I — Belleau Wood by Garth Brooks. People in the audience cried as he sang how the Germans and the Allies would sing Silent Night across the battlefield.
Many people might be surprised to learn that as a senior, this is the first year he’s performed with Encore. “I didn’t really start singing until the end of my sophomore year,” said Jensen who had only picked up the guitar two years ago. He waited until this year to try out saying it sounded like a lot of fun. Now he says, “Everybody is my best friend.”
“It is awesome,” agreed Flandro. “You feel a sense of unity. It takes a while to bond, but once you do, you like everyone. Everyone is your best friend.”
This friendship comes through in the little “commercials” put into the show. The first was a fun, “radio” commercial by six of the ladies. They came out onto the stage sniffling and sneezing, talking and laughing — acting very much the part of an old radio group ready to record. Then they sang a very funny Kleenex commercial. After they finished, they leave the stage covered in tissues which are swept up by the “janitor” who is quietly singing the catchy tune, too, and quick steps off the stage. Or there is the Aqua Velva commercial by the men complete with a piano, “studly” men and a very funny skit between numbers.
Caldwell later said that 17 of the 20 students were new this year. “The fact we had seventeen new kids and they were able to put the show together with out having done it before was the best part of the show for me,” said Caldwell. He said the cast always rises to the challenge, “Every year you always wonder if it is going to make it and somehow it always does.”
And as the show neared the end, they had one more special number to perform — a favorite of John and Jen Caldwell — Prayer of the Children. A hymn about the troubles of war written about the war in Serbia-Croatia. As they stood singing this wonderful song a capella, images of children and hope were shown on the screen in the background.
Words cannot cover everything in their show. Elvis, Thriller, Bee Gees, Jive, solos, duets. There is still one more chance to catch this group in action. Encore will be performing at the “We The People” fundraiser this Wednesday evening at 6 p.m. It may be your last chance to catch this talented group of Sky View students. So call Miah Bowen, 435-770-9477, and get your tickets now.
Alexis Stott, sophomore
Benjamin Bowen, junior
Breanna Brinkerhoff, junior
Camille Trapett, senior
Grant Fuller, sophomore
James Shepard, sophomore
Josh Hilton, senior
Julia Smith, junior
Kayden Jensen, senior
Kelsey Lee, sophomore
Kindsey Hansen, senior
Marissa Allen, junior
Melissa Bingham, junior
Michael Huber, junior
Mike Marshall, junior
Morgan Flandro, junior
Nate Johnson, senior
Stephanie Poulson, senior
Tayler Jensen, senior
Thomas Koch, junior