Theatricality choir brings Disney to senior living facilities

Whether it was Davy Crockett, Baloo the bear, Nala, Simba or Mary Poppins, the Coon Rapids High School choir group Theatricality brought the sights and sounds of Disney to three area senior living facilities May 31.

The Coon Rapids High School choir group Theatricality brought the sights and sounds of Disney to the Farmstead of Andover, Epiphany Pines Senior Housing and Park River Estates Care Center on its Share the Joy tour on May 31. Theatricality is an extra-curricular choir at Coon Rapids High School started by Choir Director Amy Johnson. Photo by Bethany Kemming

The Coon Rapids High School choir group Theatricality brought the sights and sounds of Disney to the Farmstead of Andover, Epiphany Pines Senior Housing and Park River Estates Care Center on its Share the Joy tour on May 31. Theatricality is an extra-curricular choir at Coon Rapids High School started by Choir Director Amy Johnson. Photo by Bethany Kemming

Theatricality went to The Farmstead of Andover, Epiphany Pines Senior Housing and Park River Estates Care Center, both of Coon Rapids, on its Share the Joy tour May 31. Arrayed in costumes to represent a variety of characters, the performers sang short sections from “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King,” “Hakuna Matata,” “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah,” “Chim Chim Cher-ee,” “Step in Time!,” “A Spoonful of Sugar,” “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” “Someday My Prince Will Come,” “Candle On The Water,” “The Bear Necessities,” “The Ballad of Davy Crockett” and “It’s a Small World.” Each student sang a solo as a main character in one of the many Disney shows represented.

The residents enjoyed the students’ musical performance for a variety of reasons.

“I liked that I saw a little line dancing, which is what I did for 20 years,” Epiphany resident Arlene Hanson said.

Hanson also said that she even canceled a couple events to make sure she could attend the performance.

“It was more than just singing, it was storytelling; they really got into the parts,” Epiphany resident Lou Schroeder said.

Theatricality is an extra-curricular choir made up of 18 CRHS students representing ninth, 10th, 11th and 12th grades.

Choir Director Amy Johnson started the group in the 2010-2011 school year to provide students with more opportunities to sing outside of the normal school day. She also wanted to open up an avenue to explore the theater-like performance aspects of being a vocalist, a personal passion of Johnson’s.

All students in Theatricality also participate in the high school’s choral program.

“What I enjoyed most about being in Theatricality this year was singing songs from Disney classics and having the opportunity to light up as Mary Poppins on stage,” 11th-grade student Sarina Greskowiak said.

Johnson described the Share the Joy tour as the perfect opportunity for Theatricality to get into the local community and share its music with those who may not receive visits from youth very frequently.

Throughout the school year, Theatricality rehearses every Monday night. The choir also participates in the winter choir concert, a kids’ concert in January that the group hosts and the May bravo choir concert. The Share the Joy tour takes place once a year.

According to Theatricality members, the program has been a positive influence on them for many different reasons.

“I like that it [Theatricality] is all different grades coming together and doing something different and unique,” 11th-grade student Amber Barnes said.

Tenth-grade student Tanner Liubakka said he joined Theatricality to develop his solo singing skills, but what he enjoyed most was the opportunity to have fun with his friends.

When selecting music for the Theatricality singers, Johnson said she tries to find something appealing for everyone that best shows off the talents in the group.

“I also choose music that is exciting and accessible for all ages,” Johnson said.

When Johnson asked residents at the assisted living facilities who knew the Disney songs they had heard, many residents raised their hand.

“It made me want to get up and dance with them!” Epiphany resident Evelyn Spencer said.

Bethany Kemming is at
bethany.kemming@ecm-inc.com


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