Encore Exhaustion

maria mckee, reporter

Encore is Free State’s annual choir showcase. Juniors and seniors participate in a variety of songs, rehearsing all quarter long, although they begin even sooner, in the fall, picking out songs to sing. Keeping up with school, work and still making it to rehearsals has turned into a stress fest for some, but their hard work shows in the performance.

It helps those participating to have friends in the show as well. Having friends working on the same songs slims down the stress factor when balancing their social lives. Senior Sidney Newlin is able to find time to hang out with most of her friends at rehearsals.

“Sometimes I feel bad, because I don’t get to spend as much time with [my family],” Newlin said.

Although most of the singers feel that the show is completely worth all of the stress and hard work, it takes a little while for that feeling to kick in. Until the show is polished and performed students cannot help but be overwhelmed by the responsibility and pressure to perform.

Senior Addison McCauley had difficulty scheduling time for Encore before the audition process, but since ten of his numbers have been selected his rehearsal time has lessened to only take up his weekends.

“It makes it a lot easier,” McCauley said. “I kind of open myself up for the weekend, just to take those whole two days just for Encore and work everything else around that.”

Becoming more organized and efficient with school work becomes vital when managing time.

“I always have to do my school work right as I get home, which is an adjustment,” Newlin said.

Encore is not a big source of stress for senior Jordan Swartzendruber. Only participating in two songs this year, Swartzendruber does not have to worry as much about Encore being a burden and influencing the time she may need for school and her social life.

“I am kind of disappointed [that some songs didn’t make it], but it’s nice not to have to stress out about being in a bunch of songs,” Swartzendruber said.

The even balance of work, relationships, school and Encore is hard to achieve and some students choose to avoid the stress. As stressful as the production may be, the display of talent is rewarding in the end. The quarter-long stretch sets Free State singers in an intense expectation of excellence, which they are able to prove themselves worthy of come late March.