The Heroes of Royal Harmony

By: Omar Elghazawi.

Just your average, ordinary, everyday superheroes.

Royal Harmony is our co-ed, audition-based show choir here at North Royalton, that began competing in competitions in 2012. The group is directed by choir teacher Mr. Joe Mikolajczyk and consists of thirty-two singer/dancers, thirteen crew, and thirteen combo members.

This year’s tracklist consisted of the “My Hero Medley” by the Foo Fighters, “Hero” by Skillet, the ballad “Someone to Fall Back On” by Bandslam, the “Superwoman/Part of Me medley” originally performed by Alicia Keys and Katy Perry, respectively, and “Everyday Superhero” by Smash Mouth.

Senior singer/dancer Riley Jenkins.

Four-year member and senior Riley Jenkins described this year’s show music and dance style. “We tend to stick to contemporary music; most of our songs this year were about superheroes. When people think of dancing, they don’t think of the kind of dancing we do,” he said. ¨I like to think of it more as controlled movement rather than dancing.  It’s a lot of arm movement with close attention to sharp angles. There’s not really fluid movement like you would find in other forms of dancing; every move is hit hard and sharp. The dancing isn’t very complicated, but takes a lot of cleaning to make sure everyone looks exactly the same while doing it.”

Freshman singer/dancer Hannah Hambleton.

Aside from the singing and dancing, the group has a large ensemble of costumes used during the show and changes into multiple outfits during the duration of it. “For our first costume, we have these nice black and red jackets with gold piping for the girls,” says first-year member and freshman Hannah Hambleton. “The guys wear a trench coat with a purple shirt underneath. For the ballad, the girls change into a sparkly gold and black dress. At the very end of the show, we wear black t-shirts with a gold crown on them with “NR” written in the middle. The girls wear purple flannels, while the guys wear red ones around their waists.”

Freshman crew member Katie Perhacs.

Royal Harmony also has a crew with thirteen members, led by crew leader Nathan Pochedley, a senior here at the school. “Crew is essential to the show; Royal Harmony couldn’t do their jobs without crew, and vice versa,” said first-year crew member and freshman Katie Perhacs.

Senior crew member Nathan Pochedley.

Nathan Pochedley, the aforementioned crew leader, described this year’s backdrop, setting the scene for the show. “Our backdrops this year consisted of two foam boards attached to PVC poles with canvas pictures glued to either side. The setting of the concerts are usually on stages with multiple levels of platform risers. There are five of these boards, and two crew members each stand behind them, turning them at a certain point in the show, right after the beginning of the Alicia Keys/Katy Perry medley.”

Sophomore combo member Dylan Sexton.

The combo for the group consists of thirteen members as well. “In the show this year, there are four saxophones: two altos, one tenor, and one bari. The other instruments in the show include two trumpets, two drummers, three low bass players, and a guitar, bass, and pianist,” said combo member Dylan Sexton.

“The two drummers switch off on the drum-set and auxiliary parts, such as cowbell and triangle. During the show, we play genres such pop music and ballet,” expanded senior combo member Gabe Skorepa.

Senior combo member Gabe Skorepa.

This year, the group performed at three competitions: Beavercreek Midwest Show Choir Classic at Beavercreek High School, Medina Midwest Showcase at Medina High School, and Voices in the Grove at Grove City High School.The group placed third in Tier III at Medina, but unfortunately did not place at either other competition. They also performed at two festivals, the Westlake Show Choir Festival and Ada Music Feast. The group itself is young and hungry, however, and is looking forward to next year; the only way to go is up for Royal Harmony.

I was lucky enough to be a part of Royal Harmony for my four years here at North Royalton, and the show we put on this year is, in earnest, was one of the best I’ve seen at my time here. I won’t be surprised to see Royal Harmony make finals at some point in the next few years.

Clinics for auditions are this May 21st and 22nd, and auditions are held May 24th. Auditions are open for any student currently enrolled at the high school or those entering the 9th grade from the middle school. For more information on the group or auditioning, talk to Mr. Mikolajczyk in the choir room.

Omar Elghazawi is a senior at North Royalton. He has written for The Royal News for two years and is a native of Cleveland, Ohio. Omar will be studying political science at Miami University this fall.