Annual Middle School Pop Show honors deceased artists


Claire Huff

This year’s Pop Show paid tribute to deceased artists like Queen and Selena.

SJ Lasley, Staff Writer

Paying tribute to musical legends, the Middle School Pop Show attracted crowds of families and Upper School students to the VST on Friday, Feb. 9.

Each year, the Middle School girls’ choir, Cantatores, perform an hour-long medley of themed songs with costume changes and choreography alongside St. John’s Boy Choir. This year’s theme: Tribute. The groups performed songs like Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” to Selena’s “Como la Flor” as tributes to artists who have passed on.

Video Credit: Nasser Ansari

The eighth grade girls are highlighted in the show each year, performing at the front and with interspersed solos. This year, the girls split up into groups of three to five, which added more personal flair to the performances.

“The changes kept the show fresh,” sophomore and former Cantatores member Claire Huff said. “It’s always great to see the development of the choir program and all the hard work the girls put into their performances.”

The eighth grade girls picked the setlist for the show as a reward for their three-year commitment to the program. The students proposed songs to Emig, who filtered the list to twelve recognizable hits.

“Many great artists passed away during the 2016-2017 school year, and one of the things I overheard from the then Class 7 students was to do a ‘tribute’ show,” Cantatores director Brendan Emig said. “I proposed this at the beginning of this school year, and we ran with it.”

The sixth and seventh graders performed songs by grade level. In groups of six girls, the performers utilized the groups’ size to execute more advanced choreography.

Boy Choir performed Bobby Darin’s “Beyond the Sea” and Three Dog Night’s “Joy to the World.”

The Lower School choir, St. John’s Singers, attends the Pop Show every year to foster the choir program’s community, and friends and families consistently pack into the VST to support the singers. Upper School students who participated in the choir program themselves also show their support for the department.

“I am so happy that Upper School students come to the Pop Show, regardless of their involvement in the choral program,” Emig said. “I think it brings a sense of nostalgia to those students and really shows support to the members of Cantatores.”

The Pop Show is an important part of the culture and conversation in Middle School. Each participant plays an important role carrying a tune, belting a solo or performing in a dance ensemble. Former Cantatores and Boy Choir members look back on those years fondly.

“The choir program provides a great learning experience in being a team player and working hard,” Huff said. “The Pop Show highlights that every year, and that’s something I will continue to support.”