VS Pomp & Plenty performance to appeal to audience of all ages

Members of the Varsity Singers at Huntington North High School (from left) Taylor Bailey, Rebecca Shenefield and Alaina Ellenburg practice at the school on Tuesday, Nov. 6, for the Pomp & Plenty gala, to be held at the school on Nov. 17 and 18. Photo by Steve Clark.

As the Huntington North High School Varsity Singers gear up for their annual Pomp & Plenty performance, senior dance captains Zach Allen and Ana Wenning say the show will appeal to all ages.

Performances are on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 17 and 18, at Huntington North.

"This year's theme is ‘A Blast from the Past,'" Wenning says. "It will include a medley of songs from the '70s, '80s and '90s."

She adds that the group has chosen popular hit songs from each decade that will be familiar to almost every audience member.

Songs from the 1970s include "Boogie Wonderland," "A-B-C" and "Dancing Queen." The 1980s medley will include "Footloose" and "Thriller," while "Opposites Attract," "Living La Vida Loca" and "Smooth" by Santana will be apart of the 1990s medley.

The evening will feature a two-part performance, Allen notes.

"We will do Pomp & Plenty first and then after a break, we will perform our competition piece," he explains. "While there are going to be breaks, with individual performances during the first show, we're going to run through the second half as we would at a regular competition."

Wenning adds that the competition show will feature more modern songs including hits by David Guetta and One Direction.

"Younger audience members will know these songs and like them," she says. "The performance starts off more classic and moves into a mix of pop at the end."
Allen says the Pomp & Plenty performance is perfect practice for competition season, which starts after the New Year.

"Our first competition is on Feb. 9 at Northridge High School in Middlebury," he says. "Between now and then, we're going to be putting in some long hours of practice."

He adds that the highlight of Pomp & Plenty is the fact that students are involved with every aspect of the show.
"Competition is awesome, but Pomp & Plenty is our show," Allen states. "Unless we go to a school
specifically for something like music performance or theater, we won't have that opportunity again. It's cool to experience the other side of the stage, not as performers."

Wenning adds that although the practice schedule is long, the love of competition and life skills learned are what drives the members.

"We're all pretty competitive and when we get to competition time, we all want to win so bad that it doesn't matter that we practice long hours," she says. "Also with our practice schedule and other commitments, we learn time management skills and discipline which we can use long after competition."

Wenning adds that many of the members are either in the Top 25 of their class or consistently on the honor roll.
The group has logged more than 125 hours of practice so far for the Pomp & Plenty show.

Show director Jon Wenning says he's proud of the commitment of the group and the strong leadership at every level.

"Even with people coming and going each year to graduation, we always try to maintain a high level of excellence and do a very good job of it," the director says. "Of course it helps that we have strong student leaders in each class."

He adds that audience members will be impressed and proud of the show and the high standards set and achieved by the group.

"What we do could not be possible without the enormous support from parents and members of the community who volunteer long hours to a lot of behind-the-scenes tasks like set design and building, costume and decorating. We owe them a big thanks for all the work they do to support our program."