Students reach new notes with South Whidbey show choir

Members of Music in Motion bring it down while practicing for a song by Michael Jackson. The group will perform for the first time on Tuesday, Nov. 19.  - Celeste Erickson / The Record
Members of Music in Motion bring it down while practicing for a song by Michael Jackson. The group will perform for the first time on Tuesday, Nov. 19.
— image credit: Celeste Erickson / The Record

South Whidbey High School singers are belting out new tunes this year and a few dance moves to boot.

Music in Motion is the school’s new show choir that features singing, dancing and solos for the 44 students involved, many of whom have never sung before.

The group will be performing for their premiere at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 19, at the high school auditorium. Admission is free.

Choir Director Paula Ludtke started the group this past September after seeing a need in the curriculum. The school already has existing choirs, including a concert choir and swing choir. But she saw the students were eager to do something more, she said.

“The kids were anxious to do show choir music,” she said.

The performance will feature familiar songs that are upbeat and popular, she said. Tuesday’s performance will feature current hits from Bruno Mars as well as music from Michael Jackson.

“The kids seem to like it a lot,” she said. “A lot of soloists have emerged who didn’t before.”

The students range from first-time performers to experienced singers. Even though the group is just starting, the 44-member ensemble has a big sound, which is one thing Ludtke enjoys about the group, she said.

Senior Lucas Christiansen said being in a show choir is a first for him. He said he enjoys the experience even though he’s never taken voice lessons and is “not the most coordinated person.”

“It’s really fun; Mrs. Ludtke is a really good teacher,” he said. “The dance moves are definitely an added benefit.”

Brandon Asay, a senior in the class, said he joined because he wanted to support his teacher in her new endeavor.

“It’s my most fun class,” he said. “I like getting out from behind a desk to sing and dance, it’s a good part of the day.”

“I love to watch their energy and enthusiasm,” Ludtke said. “I enjoy that, it’s very uplifting for me.”

Ludtke said the performance is to show the community what the class has been working on and how much fun it is.

She said the group plans to have three main shows this school year along with a few other smaller performances and one special showing for the holidays.

Ludtke also sought the help of choreographer Jamee Pitts, from Island Dance and Gymnastics.

Freshman Aria Ludtke said the choir gave her an opportunity to do something musical. Aria joined the group with past dance experience and was happy to practice again this year.

“It’s interesting to see people who have never danced before try and do it,” she said.

She said Pitts has been doing a great job working with the students and choreographing for people while singing.

“She did a really good job and makes us look better,” she said.

“I’m looking forward to a lot of people seeing us — to get out there and kind of show off to the people that didn’t think we could do it,” Aria said.

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