The Ventura Unified School District’s all high school choir poured their hearts out onto the stage of Ventura High School in Company’s annual year end concert. All 38 high school teens have proven their dedication to the program by being on stage almost every morning at 6:15 a.m. to rehearse with their director Heidi House.
“Seasons of Love” showcased the comradery and family environment of the group. Foothill student Marin Valerio ‘20 stated how her favorite part of the night was “being with my family. Everyone on that stage has grown so close this year, even the people who joined at the semester. We’re a family and it’s awesome to perform with them.”
Brianna Corbett ‘17, a former member of Company, shared her thoughts on being an audience member for the first time. Her favorite song was “Singing in the Rain.”
“That number was incredible. They had the cute little umbrellas and it was obvious that it was well rehearsed. People really knew what they were doing and knew the words. You could hear the vocals were strong,” Corbett expressed.
Following “Singing in the Rain” was “Blackbird,” a number which feature vocals by Foothill students Spencer Selleck ‘18 and Olivia Cate ‘17 and dancing by Julia Fickenscher ‘18. “Blackbird” was an elegant and delicate number that added an element of serenity to the show.
Cate had been performing in show choir since the opening of Crescendo, the middle school choir, which began when she was in the 8th grade. Once starting high school, Cate continued pursuing her passion and joined Company. This year she was one of the Company managers, and distinguished as a four-year company member.
As an eighth-grader, Cate was pushed by her mom and best friend Miriam Larson ‘17, also a four year member, to join Crescendo. Cate feels that Company allowed her to gain confidence.
“Performing, singing and dancing got me out of that shell and comfort zone. Knowing Miriam was going to be doing it as well made me want to continue. I knew I was going to have that fun experience again,” Cate said.
As Company manager, Cate is “pretty much waiting on Heidi hand and foot. There’s a lot of back stage stuff. Getting the girls ready is definitely difficult because there’s a lot of process to looking like this.”
Cate shared how unlike other shows “Seasons of Love” had more wardrobe changes than ever. “I thought my most difficult performance was my freshman year, but this was pretty difficult with lots of movements. Behind the scenes you really have to go-go-go to make sure everyone is together,” she said.
As Cate nears the end of her experience and time with Company, her final goodbye is feeling more real. “I had a tear jerker during ‘Testimony,’ ‘Take Me Home’ and ‘Seasons of Love.’ I’m coming to the realization that this is it. It makes me want to savor every little bit and enjoy the people I’m around more because I know it’s that last time I’m going to be with them,” she said.
House shared how Cate and Larson will be greatly missed after spending five years with them. “They are fabulous girls. We love them dearly. Having someone with you for five year almost every day and being so intimately involved with music is hard. It sometimes goes past the teacher, and it’s like mother-daughter,” she said. House is excited for them to move on in their lives.
House expressed how “Testimony” was her favorite song of the night. “It speaks to the hearts of so many of us. It’s so emotional and powerful,” she said.
Selleck’s favorite piece was “I’ve had the Time of My Life” because of his solo and the choreography, he felt a personal connection to the song.
When Selleck first joined Company, he felt odd waking up so early for a class. Overtime, as performances neared, Selleck loved going to practice for the people. “It’s just so nice going to a place with so many people like me,” he said.
Editor’s Note: Julia Fickenscher is a member of Company and the Arts and Entertainment editor. She was not involved in the production of this article in any way.