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McKeesport choir takes its show on the road

| Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012, 3:12 a.m.
During a performance at PPG Place, John Meekins leads the McKeesport Area Show Choir in 'Run Rudolph Run.'
Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News
During a performance at PPG Place, John Meekins leads the McKeesport Area Show Choir in 'Run Rudolph Run.' Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News
McKeesport Area Show Choir singers, from left, Seana-Rae, Henry Nightengale, Moriah Crosby, Torrie Jeter and Monique Cooper sing 'Deck the Rooftop.'
Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News
McKeesport Area Show Choir singers, from left, Seana-Rae, Henry Nightengale, Moriah Crosby, Torrie Jeter and Monique Cooper sing 'Deck the Rooftop.' Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News
McKeesport Area Show Choir singers, from left, Marissa Cloonan, Alexia Wakefield, Natalie Bane, Deanna DeCenzo, Monique Cooper, Angel Redwood and Alex Savage sing 'Glee-ful Christmas' during a performance at PPG Place.
Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News
McKeesport Area Show Choir singers, from left, Marissa Cloonan, Alexia Wakefield, Natalie Bane, Deanna DeCenzo, Monique Cooper, Angel Redwood and Alex Savage sing 'Glee-ful Christmas' during a performance at PPG Place. Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News

McKeesport Area Show Choir singers have taken their act on the road — putting some seasonal pep in their steps in time for the high school's holiday concert.

Gaining momentum with a week of high-profile holiday performances, the show choir is set to entertain a hometown crowd as part of McKeesport Area High School music department's annual holiday program Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the South Hall auditorium. Under the direction of Karen Cole, Beth Eger and Katelyn Panza, high school musicians will present “A Holiday Concert” with seasonal selections from the symphonic band, concert choir, orchestra, mixed ensemble, show choir and a capella choir.

“Everybody loves the show choir,” Eger said. “It's action. They see the kids dancing, and it's lively and fun. It's something different, because the band is sitting still, and the orchestra is sitting still.”

As much fun as the show choir has been for audiences in the three years since its formation, students seem to be enjoying it most.

“The kids love it,” Eger said. “It was their idea. They asked to get it started around the time that the show ‘Glee' came out.”

For students to sign up for the McKeesport Area Show Choir after-school activity, they also must enroll in choral classes that take place during the school day.

Senior Monique Cooper is new to the activity this year.

“It's fun,” Monique said. “I get to spend time with my friends, and I get to do my favorite thing, which is sing.”

Senior Marissa Cloonan, who has been with the show choir since its start, said the choir has grown along with the friendships of its members.

“We're more organized, and we're performing more,” she said.

Along with local stops at the Palms at O'Neil and the Festival of Trees in McKeesport, the show choir performed in Pittsburgh last week at PPG Place, Market Square and Phipp's Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.

“The singing really has become tremendous,” senior Alexander Savage said. “Everyone has grown musically, and we've matured.”

Show choir selections for Wednesday's concert will be “Angels We Have Heard on High,” “Run Rudolph Run,” “Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)” and “Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree.” The concert choir will sing, “Do You Hear What I Hear,” “The Chanukah Song” and “Believe.” The a cappella choir will perform “Carol of the Bells,” “Jingle Bells,” “Baby, It's Cold Outside,” and “Wake, Awake.” The a cappella choir will join the symphonic orchestra for the “Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel's “The Messiah.”

On its own, the symphonic band will play “Canadian Brass Christmas,” “Favorite Things” and “Sleigh Ride.” The orchestra will perform “Christmas Suite for Strings,” “Concerto Grosso Op. 6 No. 8” and “Carol of the Bells.” A mixed ensemble will play “Ding Dong! Merrily on High,” “Christmas Time is Here,” “Deck the Halls” and “No Time No Diet.”

Jennifer R. Vertullo is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1956, or jvertullo@tribweb.com.

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