DIRIGO STORIES: Wells High school students prepare for performances on national stage
WELLS (WGME) – A group of students from Wells is preparing for three big performances on a national stage.
Three students will perform with the color guard during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, one will perform with the color guard during halftime of the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl on New Year’s Day, and the high school’s all-girls A Cappella Select Chorus will perform at the Lincoln Center in New York City with the group "Total Vocal" and stars from the hit-movie “Pitch Perfect” in March.
“My kids have made me so proud because they stepped into that very scary, unknown environment and they've been able to thrive,” said Bailey Smith, who runs the Wells High School Guard Programs and the a cappella chorus.
“I'm most looking forward to being able to meet people from all over the country who have the same passion for color guard as I do,” said Mallory Cashman.
This will be Cashman’s third performance in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. It is the first for her two teammates, Lily Hendry and Annabelle Breton.
“I think my teammates are the best people in the world,” said Hendry.
While members of the tight-knit team prepare for their big performances, the a cappella group got a big surprise last month.
The singers will take part in an elite chorus called “Total Vocal” that will be led by Deke Sharon, a well-known name in the a cappella world, and joined by cast members from The Sing Off, Pitch Perfect, and Broadway
“It’s surreal,” said Senior Kylie Belanger. “It's really cool to be able to do something that you love.”
Belanger and the dozen other students in the a cappella chorus listened intently as Smith surprised them with the news that they’d be performing in New York City next year.
“Going to New York City is a dream for all of us, said Katie Reidy, a junior in the group.
They say Smith has been integral in pushing their limits, and getting them ready for performances on the national stage.
“I've never seen a director, leader like her,” Reidy said. “She puts in so much effort and she always expects the best results so that makes us want to give them to her.”
“I just feel like why not? If I can provide an opportunity like that for a student, they're going to make memories to last them the rest of their lives,” Smith said.