The six Laramie High School choirs hosted a concert and showcase to highlight students’ special
talents on February 11.

As an effort to raise money for new sound shells to improve acoustics in the LHS theater, where
most choir performances take place, choir director Donna Solverud allowed choir students to
display their singing abilities, as well as other talents unrelated to choir.

The concert included performances with an electric cello, flute, piano, original music, and
original poetry, as well as performances from the six LHS choirs.

This was the first occurrence of this non-traditional concert, which is likely to become an annual
event.

“Now, this concert was kind of a lighter concert because it was all pop music, so we didn’t do
any of our standard choral literature,” Solverud said.

Students were able to choose music that would normally be excluded from traditional choral
performances, including popular music.

Auditions were held weeks earlier during each choir class for individual performances. Ten acts
out of twenty-five were chosen to perform. The choices were made by Solverud and Loree Cox,
the choir accompanist.

“This was the first time actually trying to do this kind of audition concert for our groups, since
we had some students who had to audition to actually get into the concert,” Noah Riffee, a
student at LHS and a member of both the Plainsmen Singers and the Jazz Choir, said.

The top audition choirs are the Lady Plainsmen, the Plainsmen Singers, and the Jazz Choir. The
two non-audition choirs are the Freshman Choir and the Concert Choir. These choirs are
electives at Laramie High School. The Men’s Choir, also called the Testostertones, meets at
lunch.

The showcase provides students a chance to display how they have improved their skills and
talents over the year.

“It’s always an opportunity to grow for other students and for us individuals as musicians,” Riffee said.

“My freshmen, they definitely matured a lot, and all the groups have kind of gelled a lot more,
and I’ve definitely seen a big improvement,” Solverud said.

Because of the progress made by the LHS choirs and the overall success of the event, the
showcase will occur again next year.

“I thought it went really well, and I’m going to make it an annual event. I just like to highlight
individual choir members and their talents that they have,” Solverud said.

Around 400 people attended this event.

“This actual concert was part of our first fundraiser for sound shells, because we are trying to
new sound shells to improve our acoustics around the building, and so we need some $24,000 to
actually get these sound shells that we need for our theater,” Riffee said.

After this showcase, the choirs will now be focusing on upcoming performances and auditions.

“We are preparing for auditions for next year’s choirs, and then we’ll be preparing for festival in
Cheyenne in April,” Solverud said.

The showcase will likely happen again next year, allowing a new batch of students to display
their talents.