The North View

Belvidere North Arts Spotlight

Natalie Abramat, News Editor

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Belvidere North is a school known for its love of sports. Whether it be football, co-ed cheer, cross country or baseball. North also has a special place for those who love the arts as much as they love sports too.  It can vary from Choir, to Marching and Concert band, to Improv and Theatre. The love these students and teachers give to the arts a majority of the time goes unnoticed.

       Belvidere North once had six choirs. Show, Choraliers, Acapella, Treble, Mixed and Freshmen. Last year however, they faced an issue, that is currently still an issue today. Incoming freshmen are not interested in or can’t take choir because the form they received appeared that they couldn’t do both freshmen choir and world studies or a foreign language, but that is not true. This issue meant an attrition rose. North went from a 30% loss of students not being enrolled into choir, to a 70%. While the issue remains unsolved, there is work continuing to happen inside the chorus room, where Dr. Vermillion teaches his four core choirs. 

     “It’s impossible not to be excited about BNHS Choirs this year.  Freshman Chorus’ is developing a very sophisticated, mature sound despite the fact that they are the smallest Freshman Chorus in the school’s history.  Their preparation for the Illinois Music Education Association (ILMEA) required pieces is going quite well, and I am proud of their progress. Show Choir is taking to the student-generated choreography; they take great steps forward daily, and it is obvious that they demand excellence.  Likewise, Choraliers is working quickly having learned several songs already in preparation for their annual Drug-Free Schools tour. Acappella is perhaps the best concert chorus that BNHS has ever had. This year’s basses provide a strong harmonic foundation unlike any other, and it’s easy to build upon.  Their piece “Desh” is one of the most difficult that our group has ever tried to take on: an unfamiliar language, unequal meter, a foreign scale, ridiculous polyphony, and just about everything else that the composer/arranger can throw at them. Many college choirs would not dare to take it on, and BNHS Acappella….NAILED IT,” Dr. Vermillion explained.

      Along with the Choir concert, Mr. Aska has been preparing and working with his students in the Marching band. This years theme contained pieces from the popular band Journey. A few of the songs include ‘Anyway you want it’, ‘Open Arms’ and ‘Seperate Ways’.  Not only does band not get enough credit for marching together in time while wearing hot uniforms, they also have student drum majors, that practically lead the entire band so they are together for every beat and every measure.

      “This is my third year as drum major and I can firmly say that this is the best year for the band thus far. We’ve been growing exponentially in size and skill and it’s only going to get better. Although 8th grade night was cancelled due to the weather, I encourage everyone to come out and watch us march.” Adam Soper (‘19).

     The band will continue to work until their last performance, which concludes on senior night. After that, the band will work on different music, in preparation for their concert in December.

     Theatre and Improv also have had a running start. Belvidere North Thespians has attended three events already this year, including an Improv festival in Batavia and getting to work with professionals from chicago. They also attended Talent, a state leadership workshop with other thespians in the state and even gave out candy and flyers during the homecoming parade. Besides that, the fall play is quickly approaching along with the Improv teams first show next month. The fall play Harvey, is about a man named Elwood and his “Real” rabbit friend, Harvey.  However, throughout the show, the doctors, Elwood’s family and others start to question the legitimacy of the Rabbit and wonder if he really is real or not.

     “The season in general is believing. We are opening with the question does believing in the extraordinary make you crazy or exceptional?” Mrs. Taylor stated. The show dates for Harvey are October 18th, 20th at 7 p.m. and 21st at 2 p.m. The cost for entry is $7.00. For more information regarding Harvey, talk to Mrs. Taylor.

     The Improv team also has a show coming up next month on November 8th, this time in the black box theatre. For many years the Improv team has done their shows in the Cafeteria, but for the first time in many years, the improv team will have its first show in the Black box.

      “This year for improv, we are emphasizing the intimacy and personal aspect. We moved it into the black box so the audience would feel a more realistic and personal experience.”

Be sure to come to all these art filled events here at North. “You know you want to!”

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Belvidere North Arts Spotlight