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It's Showtime!

Chantilly High School Presents Choral Showcase with Rocky Run and Franklin Middle Schools

Chantilly High School presented its Choral Showcase with local middle schools last week. Franklin Middle School performed with Chantilly on March 17 and Rocky Run on March 18, following an old-fashioned spaghetti dinner. The lively two-hour performances brought the neighborhood out for musical extravaganzas to rival Broadway.

The shows featured the Chantilly High School Concert Choirs: Select and Jazz Choirs, and Show Choirs: Light Touch, Magic Touch, and Touch of Class. The Touch of Class singers have been chosen as the Virginia State Representative to the National Show Choir Cup Competition in Branson, MO, on April 4-7.

Rocky Run brought out its Chorus, Advanced Girls Choir, and their Concert and Show Choirs. Franklin came with its Advanced Mixed and Girls Select Choruses.

Musical numbers ranged from traditional choral and jazz pieces like "Sing Songs of Joy" and "Tuxedo Junction" to movie and show tunes such as "My Boyfriend's Back" and "Let the Sunshine In." Audiences were impressed by the complicated harmonies of Duke Ellington's "Caravan," sung artfully by Chantilly Jazz Touch.

"The show tunes were as good as Broadway's," says J.B. Wright, 55, of Chantilly Highlands. "They were snappy and clever. The students worked hard to perfect their pieces." His daughter Tori, a Chantilly senior, performed with Magic Touch.

The top-notch performance was capped by the 2003 Competition Medley by Touch of Class, preparing for its "Show Choir Cup" in Branson, MO — "The Live Musical Capital of the World." The "Show Choir Cup" is a highly competitive national musical event and the most sought after show choir competition in the country. It is unique in that it is a tiered competition, and "Touch of Class" will perform a straight 20-minute medley.

"The Touch of Class trip to Branson, MO required that each child raise $925," said Lynn Green, 47, of the Preserve in Chantilly. "My family knows first-hand how fortunate we are to have these programs. We lived in San Diego for five years, where we did not have so many music and choral programs," said Green, who handles public relations for the show. Green's son, Drew, 15, a Chantilly High sophomore, made Touch of Class this year.

"I'm thrilled that the students can be part of such a character-building experience," said Beth Frook of Walney Glen. Frook is a Little Hands Kindermusik teacher and mother of daughters Sarah and Megan, of Chantilly and Rocky Run choirs, respectively.

Sarah, of Touch of Class, is a top-ranked singer in the state of Virginia.

"All of the children in the choirs are ambitious, hard-working, and dedicated," said Ellen Shapiro, 42, of Lee's Crossing. She is Choral V.P. of Music Boosters and a pre-school teacher at Congregation Beth Emeth in Herndon.

"We are proud of each and every one of them. The kids have probably put in over 60 hours of practice over the last three weeks preparing for the show," she said.

Shapiro's daughter Jackie has been active in chorus for three years. Now a lead singer for Touch of Class and member of Jazz Touch, Jackie was a Top-10 finalist on FOX-TV's "American Idol" last year.

"All the kids did great. It was a great chance for the middle school students to see all the choirs they can aspire to," said Susan Shaw, mother of Allison, a 7th grade student in the Rocky Run Show Choir.