The student news site of Eden Prairie High School

Eagle News Network

The student news site of Eden Prairie High School

Eagle News Network

The student news site of Eden Prairie High School

Eagle News Network

Big Apple Choir Showcase


Being a student in the choir comes with many things: time, collaboration, vocal strength, etc. But after a semester of hard work, choir students from 10th-12th grade have the opportunity to go on a tour to New York City. But how can our school possibly afford to send all these singers across the country? One of the biggest ways to help is by attending the Big Apple Showcase.

On January 19th, EPHS hosted the Big Apple Showcase in the PAC to raise money for the choir’s New York City tour taking place at the end of February. Organized by students Abbie Vander Lugt and Eliana Zwiefelhofer, the showcase was an hour-long event of students in choir and other musicians getting to show off their talents and raise funds for their trip. Students from across the school were able to audition to be a part of the show and help support our choir.

Medha Ganjam, a band student, participated in the showcase with her friends in the choir, Eliza Tippets and Leyla Riggs. “The showcase is basically a fundraiser for the choir which gives performers opportunities to help raise money and showcase their talents.” Ganjam and Tippets sang while Riggs played a piano accompaniment. The trio performed Olivia Rodrigo’s “You Can’t Catch Me Now” from the new Hunger Games film. 

“Something that’s really cool about it is that there’s only instruments and no background sounds, so all of the performances are done fully by students.” Though the prohibition of background music may seem like a limitation, it wasn’t for Ganjam and Tippets, who happened to be friends with a very talented piano player: Riggs. 

Even if you don’t have experience like some of the other performers do, you can still perform in the show. “I’m a dancer, so I have experience on stage and stuff, but I’ve never sang in front of an audience like this.” Ganjam explains. Aside from dance, she had no prior performing experience and still did a great job at the showcase. According to Ganjam, the show wasn’t a huge commitment.

“I have a really busy schedule right now, but the showcase is a kind of time that I can breathe and just have fun with my friends (Tippets and Riggs) and do something I love, which is to sing” Ganjam shares that despite her busy schedule, she is still able to perform. She explained that there were only a few rehearsals and she didn’t have to give up a whole bunch of time to be able to help raise money for the choir.

Though the main purpose of the Big Apple Showcase is to raise money for the choir, for Ganjam, it provides a way for her to perform music, which she loves. “I’ve been doing dance since I was four years old, and I’ve been playing instruments since I was eleven, so I feel like music is kind of just a breath of fresh air. Like, even when I get really stressed about school, music is one of those things that just never stresses me out. It’s not really intense– you can make mistakes and have fun.” Ganjam shared. One of the things that Ganjam really loved about the showcase was that it had multiple benefits. It raised money for the choir, it provided a chance for students to perform, and it was a creative opportunity for two students to organize.

The Big Apple Showcase was organized by choir students Abbie Vander Lugt and Eliana Zwiefelhofer this year. The two are both traveling with the rest of the choir to the New York City tour at the end of February. “As well as having fun in the city, exploring, and going to shows and stuff like that, we also perform at churches, schools, retirement homes– those kinds of places.” Vander Lugt explained. The New York City tour is an important event for choir kids, even if it comes at a high cost. Organizing the Big Apple Showcase was a great way for Vander Lugt and Zwiefelhofer to help.

“So, we’ve just begun selling paper tickets, and that goes towards our personal tour fund.” Zwiefelhofer shared some of her and Vander Lugt’s work toward the showcase. “And everything from the concert goes to the choir’s collective tour fund.” Figuring out the logistics and finances of the show were important aspects of making sure that it went smoothly and that all the money went to the right place. 

“Besides the fundraising aspect, we’re hoping that the showcase is a opportunity for people to perform on their own outside of choir.” Vander Lugt shared, explaining that the whole purpose of the showcase isn’t just to raise money, but also to appreciate music. Since Ms. Meyer’s retirement a few years ago, EP Unplugged, a showcase similar to the Big Apple, hasn’t been done. The Big Apple Showcase provides students with an opportunity to showcase their musical talents, whether they’re going on the New York City tour or not. 

The Big Apple Showcase being an outlet for choir students to showcase their talents is very important to Vander Lugt and Zwiefelhofer. “I would love for more choir students to be able to perform,” Zwiefelhofer says. “I loved it when I was doing it, and I just really wanted to keep events like this going.” The environment that a performance like this brings to the school is special to choir and other music students who love to perform. Giving those students a way for their talent to be heard is important for Vander Lugt, Zwiefelhofer, and those who are performing in the show.

The Big Apple Showcase is a fundamental piece of making the choir’s New York City trip happen. In order for the choir to be able to attend, students like Ganjam, Vander Lugt, and Zwiefelhofer need to step up and make the showcase happen. The choir did a great job this year, with 12 performances that stunned the audience and helped raise money for the New York City tour. Being able to attend this trip is important to students and helps them be able to showcase all of the hard work and learning that they have done in choir over the semester. 

But according to those participating, the Big Apple Showcase is more than just a way to get money. The showcase helps students demonstrate their talent and appreciate the music around our school, whether it’s vocal or instrumental.