From April 8 to 11, about 50 students in the Denison High School (DHS) Singing Ambassadors Show Choir will travel to Missouri for a unique experience.
“We’ll get to open for one of the Branson shows and then we also get to perform at Silver Dollar City,” said DHS vocal teacher Kandice Thompson.
“I wanted something exciting to build toward at the end of our year, to grow toward and show their improvement throughout the season.”
About 10 adults will accompany the students.
The students have been practicing since the beginning of the school year for the trip, but the real work is just beginning.
“Our season really starts now,” Thompson said. “We have a contest a week from Saturday. We have seven contests lined up in three different states. Then we have about three or four other performances building up to the big April trip.”
The trip will be a valuable experience for the students because of the opportunity to perform in front of the large audiences in Branson and Silver Dollar City, she said.
“There’s a lot more pressure,” she said. “To open for a professional show is pretty amazing, so we’re excited about that. They will not get another opportunity like that throughout their high school year.”
Thompson said she has never taken a group to perform in Branson before and is eager to see how it all works out.
“I’ve taken groups to other places before when I taught at other schools,” she said. “I’ve been to New York twice, Chicago three times and to Orlando. It’s just one of the most amazing opportunities for kids to get to perform in different areas of the country.”
The students will perform five songs in a show that runs 20 to 25 minutes.
The songs are mostly group songs with lots of solos, Thompson said.
She wants the choir to take similar trips every two or four years in the future.
“We haven’t figured that out, yet,” she said. “This is the first time we get to go and perform somewhere different than just around here at contests.”
To help pay for the trip, students will host a soup supper from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday at DHS during the Denison vs. Carroll Kuemper basketball games.
Chicken noodle soup, chili, cheese sandwiches, desserts and tea will be available for a free will donation.
“We’ll also have a bake sale going on during that time, too,” Thompson said.
The students started running summer concession stands to raise money, but while the fall musical was in production the students weren’t available to run the concession stand during the volleyball season.
The students have also sold tumblers to raise funds for the trip.
“We’re thinking about maybe a pancake breakfast in a month or so, but we don’t have that set up, yet,” she said.
The trip costs about $625 per person.
“Each kid is coming up with their own money to help pay for the trip,” Thompson said. “Hopefully we’ll have enough.”