By: Emma Kolick.
Ensuing the formation of North Royalton High School’s competitive show choir team in 2012, impassioned performers aided in creating a triumphant group that would continue to execute astounding productions, making them a formidable opponent at showcases and competitions. Coupled with remarkable teachers and directors, Royal Harmony continues to achieve various feats nearly eight years later, particularly placing in finals for the second time since the competitive show choir team was created, in the 2018-2019 season. As the upcoming season consists of numerous competitions and performances, choir teachers and Royal Harmony members alike remain hopeful in reaching finals once again in the approaching months.
“We’re hoping to build on the success of last year by attaining finals again, and I think we have the right group of people to get us there this year,” said Royal Harmony director Mr. Mikolajczyk. In addition to being the director of Royal Harmony, Mr. Mikolajczyk has been the Choral Director for the past five years, instructing three choirs at the high school and two choirs at the middle school. “Our group this year is incredibly motivated and they’ve worked so hard throughout the entire season,” he continued. He believes the genuine altruism from the vast majority of members, as well as their unrelenting willingness to collaborate with one another in order to enhance the team as a whole, has contributed greatly to the consistent success of the group.
Moreover, Mr. Mikolajczyk’s eagerness regarding student feedback has enabled the team to construct contemporary themes and innovative costumes to ensure Royal Harmony’s performances reflect the member’s interpretations and ideas. The 2019-2020 season bears the theme of Bonnie and Clyde, allowing participants to generate a modern twist on the famed, age-old tale.
Despite the modernization of the story, the production will consist of the classic songs associated with the captivating film, such as, “Nothin but Muddy Water,” “Me and My Gang,” “Suit and Tie,” and an abundance of various other records. While the enchanting themes innovated by the group assist in intensifying their performance, the relentless practice, as well as the unremitting work ethic the vast majority of the members have, has permitted Royal Harmony to become a conspicuously extraordinary show choir team in an incredibly competitive field.
“Once the school year starts, we have rehearsals once a week to keep learning and practicing our choreography,” said Royal Harmony member Isabel Paulesc. As the upcoming season approaches, there are roughly three rehearsals per week, some lasting around three hours. “By the time we’re done practicing most days, I’m utterly exhausted, and I feel like I’ll always be sweaty and gross,” Paulesc said with a laugh.
However, despite the seemingly ceaseless practices, she believes the experience of performing in front of an enraptured crowd makes the rehearsals worthwhile. In addition to this, the sense of community felt between the members of Royal Harmony has helped in creating an amicable atmosphere, empowering performers to better one another through consistent encouragement and practical criticism.
Freshman show choir member, Maddie Geschke, shares this perspective. “Going into freshman year, I honestly had no idea what it was going to be like,” said Geschke. “However, it turned out to be the place where I met the majority of my friends, and I think it has helped me grow as a person, too,” she continued. She went on to say that the affable environment the Royal Harmony members have created allowed her the opportunity to fail, enabling her to learn from past missteps through the empathetic assistance of various performers.
The diligent work the vast majority of Royal Harmony members put in, coupled with distinguished teachers and a compassionate atmosphere, has greatly aided in formatting an immensely successful competitive show choir team. Given the indisputably beneficial attributes of North Royalton High School’s Show Choir team, Royal Harmony members remain optimistic that their talents and hard work will culminate into stupendous performances that will lead them to a spot in the finals.
Emma Kolick is currently a sophomore at North Royalton High School. She is involved in numerous clubs such as student council, Key Club, Spanish Club, Environmental Awareness Club, French Club, and STAND. She is also a member of the girls track team. Outside of school she enjoys yoga, reading, writing, and hanging out with friends and family. After high school, she plans to attend college and pursue a career in journalism and political science.