Leading Ladies take the lead

RMHS show choir performs their way to the top

Lauren Magana, Staff Writer

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4 a.m. call times, huge amounts of hairspray and a face full of makeup are just some of the parts of being apart of the Rolling Meadows Leading Ladies.

With five competitions this past season, the most in Leading Ladies history, the girls have been working hard to perfect their show.

This year’s show theme is “Color My World,” an arrangement that goes through the stages of love with song. The opening song, “Paint It Black,” is about having a heavy, black heart that is later cured by meeting the love of your life, which is represented by “Orange Colored Sky”. The next stages of love are characterized by “Part Of A Painting”, acceptance of that person in your life; “Red Umbrella”, dealing with the heartbreak and finally, “Black And White”, realizing that you can still love them even after all the things that happened.

Costume changes help portray the messages of the songs as well as give the audience a very unexpected surprise. The performers’ dresses were reversible, allowing allowed them to switch the color of the dress from a formal black to a vibrant orange.

“‘Color My World’ came about because I was just looking at arrangements online, and I found a lot of good songs that had to do with color, and from there it was very easy to pick costumes,” said director of the Leading Ladies Caitlyn Walsh.

This happened to be one of their most successful shows to date with numerous  awards, as well as making it to finals in all categories and getting first in their division at Clash of the Sequins held at Naperville North.

“[Scoring high enough to get into finals] was absolutely amazing. That was probably the most memorable thing,” said sophomore Grace Carroll.

Practicing every Monday and Wednesday (Thursday during the winter) from 6-9 p.m. can definitely be challenging, but every member is dedicated and motivated to improve. In the end, their intense practices paid off.

Learning the songs is only half the battle, but a large part of Leading Ladies is learning technical choreography. Choreographers are hired to help teach the performers the dances and tweak any mistakes. This is all set up and arranged by the director, to whom all of the members attribute their success.

Walsh is dedicated to the music program at RMHS, but doesn’t neglect the Leading Ladies despite being the director for several other musical groups at the high school.

“Our [middle school] choir teacher wasn’t as strict as Ms. Walsh, so that meant we weren’t as good as we are in high school, and that helps a lot,” said freshman Lilian Hume. “We wouldn’t be this good without Ms. Walsh being there.”

Walsh has been directing the Leading Ladies for five years, but this is the first group she directed to have placed in nearly every competition. A key element to their achievements has been their cooperation with each other, even though some may be four years apart.

“[Older show choir members] are very welcoming,” said Hume. “They welcome you with open arms because they could always use new people.”

With competitions usually lasting all day, the girls continue to get to know each other and become closer friends. The chemistry everyone has with each other is pertinent to a successful show.

“We kind of work as a unit,” Carroll said. “It’s like we’re the circulatory system in your body trying to make something work. Working with combo, working with this year’s three techies, which was great, and all of us just working together to just show people what we can do.”

The Leading Ladies will continue to grow and aim towards the goal of becoming one of the best show choirs in the area. With new freshman coming in every year, the Leading Ladies can only hope to get better.

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