Montague Regional high school students prepare for Disney World performance

Luke Myers (left) and Faith MacLeod pose beside a sign made by the Disney Choir for the Love Songs Concert at Montague’s high school Feb. 12. Beth Atkinson photo
The choir gathered in a classroom to get dressed and put finishing touches on hair and makeup.
Jessica MacLeod sat with the girls in front of their mirrors doing each other’s makeup. On the other side of the room, the boys fixed their ties.
Fuelled with nervous energy, Rachel Buell began to sing a song from Sister Act the musical they had staged a few weeks earlier.
Slowly the rest of the room joined in to get pumped up before the spring concert.
It wasn’t the first or last time the Montague Regional high school’s Disney choir had an impromptu jam session.
There is no doubt the 12 of them will be singing and dancing on their way to their performance at Disney World during March break. Any choir trip is a chance for the group to break out in song, said MacLeod.
“This is why you can’t take the choir kids out in public.”
The choir has 25 minutes on stage at Disney Springs. Their director, Christie Beck, chose their music last September.
They’ll be singing an Enchanted medley and Disney Dazzle, a medley of songs from Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Little Mermaid and Moana.
Beck said she chooses the setlist based on the group’s strengths. Last year was focused on stepping out of your shell while this year’s songs are all classics.
“Songs that will put a smile on everyone’s faces.”
She said they’ve learned their parts well but now they just need to polish them a bit.
She brought in a choreographer to teach the students and now that the performance is just a few weeks away, they need to practice.
“They learned the bare bones of the choreography and now it just has to be whipped into shape.”
The cost for each student is $3,000 but Beck has many fundraisers set up to make it easier on them. She said some students fundraised almost all the cost. MacLeod had to pay only $80.
“It’s an expensive trip but we want to give the opportunity to everyone.”
Her and her sister, Amy Beck, will accompany the kids on stage, Amy on drums and Christie on piano. She said this will be the fourth performance since 2012 and looking out at the audience, she said, there are some audience members that keep coming back.
“There’s a dozen familiar faces oddly enough.”
MacLeod’s parents will be in the crowd along with a few others to watch the choir perform. Those who won’t be there can watch the recording of the performance online, said MacLeod.
“In reality it’s a bunch of strangers, they’re either going to like us or not.”
MacLeod said she’s excited for her parents to see her performance on a Disney stage.
“How often do parents get to say that they saw their kid perform on stage at Disney?”
After their performance, the group will be taken into a sound booth for a three-hour session at the Epcot center to record their voices in a Disney animation.
Beck said the choir will get to work with a professional singer, a recording engineer and a pianist to record sound effects and a choral medley. In the past they’ve recorded for Lion King, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Tangled.
“All those sounds were us. It’s just too cool for words.”
MacLeod and the rest of the choir will get to keep the finished product once it’s all put together.
She said she’s excited to have her hands on a movie that is Disney’s but with her singing.
“It’s us singing. It’s our thing.”
The choir will then spend the rest of the week visiting the theme parks. She said the group is going to experience the full package because they have food, Disney and Universal passes.
“When we’re not performing, we’re being tourists. We’ll be having fun bonding together.”
It’ll be an amazing trip for making memories and having a great time with friends, said MacLeod.
“I have made friends through all of this and strengthened the other friendships I have.”
The cost of the trip has become more expensive each year. Beck said she wants to continue but they might take a trip elsewhere next time.
“It’s hard to beat this because it’s such an amazing opportunity.”
“I have made friends through all of this and strengthened the other friendships I have.”
The cost of the trip has become more expensive each year. Beck said she wants to continue but they might take a trip elsewhere next time.
“It’s hard to beat this because it’s such an amazing opportunity.”

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