By Hanna Yowell
On Feb. 23, almost 300 parents, students, teachers, family and friends gathered in the Regina High School gymnasium to watch the fifth annual “Pops Concert.” This year’s theme was “Music in Movies.” All the songs performed were from popular movies from the ‘60s to present day. Popcorn, candy and beverages were also provided to create a movie theater atmosphere. The choir walked the red carpet and was swarmed by the “paparazzi” as singers entered the gym to the Oscar theme song.
The Pops Concert began in 2008 as an effort to expand the choir’s audience. Angela Howard, the concert choir director, said, “We wanted to offer this concert as a way to try to connect with people who may not usually attend a choir concert.” In the past, the choir has performed Broadway hits as well as ‘80s, ‘90s and current songs. Each year, the audience grows in size and diversity. The concert was originally held in the cafeteria; however, the crowd eventually outgrew the space. The location was changed to the gym two years ago.
The entire concert choir performed a variety of songs. Some highlights included “I’m a Believer” and “Hallelujah” from “Shrek,” as well as “Only Hope” from “A Walk to Remember” and “Theme from Spider-Man.”
In addition to the whole choir, soloists and small groups were also featured. Howard said, “That is always the highlight for me — seeing my students shine and showing the audience the amount of great kids we have.” Soloists and small groups must be independent and were required to find the music, rehearse and practice with an accompanist.
“I am so proud of these kids. Not many people realize the hard work and dedication our students put into the arts at Regina. It is because of this, along with the amazing support of our parents, that our arts are thriving!” said Howard.
In addition to the Pops Concert, the choir was also featured in the Old Capitol Chorus (OCC) concert, “An Evening With Ed Sullivan,” Feb. 25 at The Englert Theatre in Iowa City. The barbershop quartet from Regina’s production “The Music Man” also performed. Another barbershop quartet, “Voices Unlimited,” visited the choir at school and performed at the concert as well.