Annual concert to showcase local high schools

Paige Lockard

High schools will support Washburn University’s music department tonight by singing and performing in Washburn’s 33rd annual High School Showcase Concert. The concert will be held 7:30 p.m. in White Concert Hall. Though the concert is not free to anyone older than 12, all proceeds from each $5 ticket will go to the Washburn music department to help fund scholarships for Washburn students.

Ann Marie Snook is the scholarship chair in the music department as well as an active member of the concert’s sponsor, Civic Music Club of Topeka. She has organized, attended and served as the emcee of the High School Showcase Concert for 10 years.

Snook said that this concert has not always been called the High School Showcase Concert. It was originally named the Stacie Beavers Concert.

“Stacie Beavers was a music educator who was killed in a car accident,” said Snook.

She didn’t attend Washburn, but Beavers touched the lives of many people, and the Stacie Beavers Scholarship is given out to qualified Washburn students.

The nine area high schools are bringing their madrigals and show choir groups to come perform in the High School Showcase Concert. The attendees are the Cair Paravel Madrigals, Hayden Singers, Highland Park Scot Singers, Seaman Show Choir, Shawnee Heights Choraliers, Silver Lake Select Singers, Topeka High Madrigals, Topeka West Singers and Washburn Rural’s This Generation.

Snook thinks the yearly event helps unite the high schools. She added that the kids never really get to see each other perform because all of the concerts seem to be scheduled on the same night anymore.

Singing isn’t the only talent displayed at the High School Showcase Concert. Snook said that there are costumes, musical instruments and choreography that liven up the experience. There are no restrictions on music genres that each group performs. For instance, Snook said that the Cair Paravel Madrigals are always pretty formal with their singing, while the Seaman Show Choir plays it up with a themed performance. Last year Seaman did a Halloween themed showcase, complete with costumes and choreography.

“I loved singing in this and watching the other schools perform,” said junior marketing major Amina Gordon, who used to be a Topeka West Singer. “It gave us a chance to see what the other choirs were doing, and we were always excited to show them what we had been working on.”

Gordon wouldn’t mind attending the concert again now and thought that even though she graduated from high school three years ago, it would be a positive experience to see each singing group still supporting the Stacie Beavers Scholarship.

In it’s existence, the concerts have brought in about $45,000 for Washburn’s music department through this unique fundraiser.

“[It’s] certainly worth the price of admission,” said Snook. “There’s something for everyone.”