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The Reflection

Advanced Musical Theatre EFA students perform in Winter Informance

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The entire class participated in dance numbers. Choreography was taught by a guest teacher and one of their regular teachers.
Photo by Jenna Davison

On Sunday, January 14, the students in Advanced Musical Theatre, an Education for the Arts program, put on their Winter Informance at Portage Northern High School Auditorium at 3 p.m.

Gull Lake High School students participate in the aforementioned EFA and performed.

Each student performed a solo and participated in ensemble numbers; in some cases, they performed a duet as well.

“Our songs were decided by our voice lesson teachers,” senior Sylvia Nuyen said. “If we wanted to, we could request songs or partners, but for the most part, our teachers would give us a song that they thought would push us and help us improve.”

Since the class is about musical theatre, the songs were chosen from musicals, and each performance consisted of blocking along with the vocals.

Ensemble pieces included “Welcome to the Rock” from Come From Away, “Nicest Kids in Town” from Hairspray, “Around Here” from 9 to 5: The Musical, “Bye Bye Blackbird” from Henderson/Dixon, and a reprise of “Welcome to the Rock.”

Gull Lake High School Junior, Carley Wyman performed “Unsuspecting Hearts” from Carrie: The Musical. Photo by Jenna Davison

The students had very elaborate dance routines during their ensemble pieces.

“We’ve worked on Blackbird since about the beginning of the first trimester, and the other two dances were taught to us on two separate days by guest teachers,” Nuyen said. “Finally, for our ensemble song, we started that maybe mid-first trimester.”

Previous students have come in this year to teach dances they have learned at the Barn Theatre and other large companies.

“My mom recorded everything, and as I was rewatching it, I realized I was kind of doing my own thing during the dances. I looked like the biggest goofball on the planet, but I had fun so I guess that’s what matters,” junior Mackenzie Sternburgh said. “I wish we had more time to work on them.”

Initially, the students worked on the dance routines once a week, but they practiced more frequently the closer they got to the performance. They had singing lessons for 30 minutes each week and practice on their own as well.

“For everyone’s solos and duets, we had roughly one day for 5 weeks before we performed them for the class,” Nuyen said.

Gull Lake High School seniors Micah Sweezie and Sylvia Nuyen performed a duet of “You Shine” from Carrie: The Musical. Photo by Jenna Davison

The teachers worked individually with each student to help them perfect their pieces as much as possible.

“Their feedback is just so helpful, and you really learn a lot in the class,” Nuyen said. “They can be blunt sometimes, but it’s better to get right to it so you have better understanding and can fix whatever it is you need to work in.”

The performance was open to the public, but the audience consisted mostly of family and friends. Several Gull Lake students attended to support their peers.

“I was mostly surprised by the amount of talent my EFA holds, and how much support we got from Gull Lake,” junior Carley Wyman said. “I also honestly was surprised by the way people perceived my performance: they really liked it.”

The Gull Lake High School EFA students received positive feedback regarding their own performances as well as the entire groups.

“My favorite piece, though, was the duet I did with Sylvia, as I think we both give our all when we perform, and we always connect emotionally and harmonically,” senior Micah Sweezie said. “What surprised me about the performance is that I didn’t realize how good we sounded as a group when we sang our opener.”


Courtney Pedersen

My name is Courtney Pedersen and I'm a senior. For the Reflection I primarily write news and feature stories. I am the news and media editor. I also am heavily involved in TAB, PAC, Spanish Club and the literary magazine.


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