Frenship High School students perform in Showcase

Frenship High School band, choir and theater students each performed over the weekend as part of the Frenship Showcase for the Visual and Performing Arts.

Frenship’s top band and choir led the performances Thursday night. The band opened with a march for the first official performance on the new Performing Arts Center stage.

After performing a few numbers, the choir took over, performing from risers at stage left while the band members stayed onstage. The two groups concluded with a version of “America the Beautiful.”

Choir and band members worked together to clear the stage of chairs, risers and music stands for a performance from the Frenship theater department of its one-act play.

The play, “Wait Until Dark,” was once made into a longer movie featuring Audrey Hepburn. The plot centers around a blind woman who came into possession of a doll containing contraband and the various thieves who came into her home trying to get it back from her.

Other high school and middle school students performed on Friday and Saturday, with art students decorating the lobby and hallways with their work.

Band director Tom SoRelle said when the choir and band rehearsed “America the Beautiful,” it brought tears to his eyes each time.

FHS Choir director Jared Hardy and SoRelle both acknowledged that not many schools have bands and choirs capable of performing together.

“Having a band director and band students who are sensitive enough to really listen to the choir, it’s the hardest part, for sure,” Hardy said. “A lot of kudos go to Tom and their band … They really are very sensitive musicians.”

SoRelle said a display of colored lights behind the band that changed throughout the performance just added to the ambience of the performance.

Drew Weesner, the theater instructor, said it was fun getting to perform in the Frenship Showcase. Theater students have not been able to perform in the Showcase for the past few years because it was the same weekend as their contest.

This year, theater students are already done with contest, so they pulled together their one-act competition play for the occasion.

“It’s good to see some of our other staff and administrators here and get to show off some of the talents of these kids to our community,” Weesner said.

SoRelle was really excited about the new Performing Arts Center stage.

“It’s absolutely amazing, because for years, we’ve had absolutely no place to perform in Frenship,” he said. “But now we have one of the most fabulous theaters and performing arts centers in the state.

“It gives us an opportunity to perform on a level with all the big schools in Dallas.”

Hardy said he also loves the new stage.

“It’s beautiful. It’s real deep, it’s got great width to it, a great depth to it. I love, love the acoustics,” Hardy said.

Weesner also raved about the sound on stage.

“It’s wonderful. The acoustics are amazing,” Weesner said. When students came in to rehearse play, he said he was surprised it was so easy to hear them from the back of the theater, which seats almost 1,000.

Weesner said the new stage has him already planning future offerings at the Performing Arts Center.

“My head is spinning a million miles an hour thinking about a musical for next year already, and I’m already thinking about a one-act for next year,” he said.

After the band and choir performance, choir member Shelby Sower said performing on the new stage was “so cool.”

“We’ve waited so long for the auditorium,” Sower said. “It was that moment that you get to bask in.”

Sower said it was also fun working with the band.

“It’s nice that we can blend both music styles,” she said.

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