Bad news for music folks. Pops, the beloved spring choral concert, has been cancelled this year.
For those who don’t know, Pops is when all the in-school and after-school groups come together in a cabaret-style performance complete with choreography and costumes. Choirs take on Broadway show tunes, throwback hits, and current pop music. Pops is certainly a student favorite and a fan favorite, selling more tickets than any other choral concert during the year and attracting a large audience from Ledyard and other surrounding towns.
But unfortunately, the Ledyard High School music department has decided to pull the plug on the 2017 performance. Russell Hammond, head of the department and key choir director, cites the student misbehavior as the main reasons for the cut. Choir students have been consistently opposing Hammond all year, texting in class and refusing to sit tall and sing with their mouths open.
“If the students aren’t going to sing correctly in class in the first place, I can’t take them to the next level,” Hammond said. “They need to master the basics before we add dancing and acting.”
Instead of a Pops concert, Hammond has proposed just simply a fourth traditional performance. The students will learn classic choral songs and perform on the risers onstage, one after the other.
“It’ll be disappointing to a lot of people,” Hammond admits, “But Pops is a privilege, not a right.”
For some, the news hasn’t had much impact.
“I really wouldn’t care if Pops was cancelled,” freshman Gabe Watrous said. “‘Cause I’ve never done it.”
But as predicted, many students are distraught.
“What exactly is the point of the music program without Pops?” junior James Griffin, a member of Chamber Choir and student leader of Final Cut, said. “Has Mr. Hammond gone crazy? Why would you cancel the only thing that puts Ledyard on the map?”
“I am very sad to be missing out on one of my last senior experiences in the music program,” senior Hannah Billings added. “I know many of us are disappointed to not have the last production to look forward to.”
But it’s not just the experienced upperclassmen who are upset. Freshman Emma Chin, a dedicated member of Concert Choir, was devastated as well.
“I was looking forward to it the whole year,” Chin said.
The news has also had an affect on students outside the obvious music realm.
“It’s the only concert that I like going to during the school year,” junior Amber Dubreuil said. “I’m annoyed.”
Sophomore Maddie Johanson is a member of Select Singers and Acabellas and a rising addition to Chamber Choir. Johanson and her fellow Select Singers are organizing a march to protest the cut. It will take place Mon., April 3, in the hallways of Ledyard High School during class hours.
“We are not going to stand for this,” Johanson declared. “This means war.”
The march is open to all students who feel angered or hurt by the repeal.
As Johanson put it, quoting Les Misérables, “Beyond the barricade, is there a world you long to see? Then join in the fight that will give you the right to be free!”
Rachel Kane, Staff Writer
Junior Rachel Kane is a staff writer for the 2016-2017 Colonel. Aside from playing varsity soccer and tennis, she is also the secretary of Tri-M and dances outside of school.