Tuesday, September 05, 2000

Musical group gets to work so teen members can cruise

By Walt Schaefer
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        NORWOOD — A select group of Norwood High School students hopes to be singing and swinging in the Bahamas during spring break in April.

        The Silhouettes, the school's show choir of 30 students, has been invited to compete against other high school music groups in a national competition aboard a Royal Caribbean Cruise ship.

        The roadblock: money.

        “To earn money, we have decided to have a fund-raiser and sell game board spaces for "Norwood-opoly,'” based on a popular Parker Brothers game, said Will Smith, 28, in his second year as director of the Silhouettes. “We're not allowed to use the name of that game.”

        The choir needs about $15,000 to pay for the cruise, and the students will have to pay their own air fare, Mr. Smith said.

        The Silhouettes, 14 girls and 14 boys, plus two musicians, are selected by audition each year. The group is in its 23rd year.

        “This year we had about 70 students audition for the show choir. It is a very popular group,” Mr. Smith said.

        After a several-year hiatus from entering competitions, Mr. Smith decided to begin entering the group again. The Silhouettes journeyed to New York City last year, where they finished fifth in an 11-school national competition.

        Locally, the group performs about 15 shows a year, many before or during the Christmas season. The group has appeared at area nursing homes and in annual holiday programs including those of the Norwood Business Women's Association and the Norwood Kiwanis Club.

        Adam Rich, 15, a sophomore member, said he finds participation “entertaining. I just like music and it gets me energetic to sing.”


        Pam Blair, 16, said she has been singing in school choruses and ensembles since elementary school. “I just love to sing. ... We've become one, big family.”

        Bryan Sickinger, 15, admitted there's a lot of work involved. He said the Silhouettes practice once a week from 7 to 9 p.m; 45 minutes each day at school, and participate in a weeklong summer camp to learn dance techniques from a choreographer.

        But the group agreed there is one goal that will make all the work worthwhile — a national competition, to take place on the Bahamas cruise.


               Information for “Norwood-opoly”

        Mail: Norwood High School, c/o Will Smith, 2020 Sherman Ave., 45212; phone: 396-5560; e.mail: smith.w@norwoodschools.org

        Make checks payable to Norwood High School.

        Games may be bought in advance by sending $25 to the high school.


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