Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

January 23, 2014

Off to a strong start

AHS show choirs, vocalists rack up medals in 1st contest

The Andover Townsman

---- — The Andover High School Show Choirs kicked off their 2014 competitive season last Saturday, Jan. 18, at the Mill City Show Choir Fest at Lowell High School. The competition featured 11 choirs from Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Andover High’s mixed group, From Start to Finish, brought home the silver medal — and third overall in the competition, with the all-female choir Nothin’ but Treble ending the day with a bronze.

In addition, From Start to Finish’s Amy Welch walked away with the Best Female Soloist prize and Jada Pasho of Nothin’ But Treble won honors for Best Stage Presence.

While behind-the-scenes crews rarely get noticed in show choir competitions, the Andover High School tech crew led by Katherine O’Kelly, Matthew Boulanger, Casy Serbagi and Nicholas Jones received a special judges’ award for the sets and lighting they contributed to From Start to Finish’s performance.

From Start to Finish transformed the classic tale of “Romeo and Juliet” into a more contemporary, futuristic setting for its “Creatures of the Night” performance. Over the course of 10 songs, the choir showcased the feelings of two star-crossed lovers as they journey through hope, tragedy, despair and love. The performance earned From Start to Finish third overall in the competition, behind grand champion Daniel Hand High School in Connecticut and Oliver Ames High School in Easton.

Nothin’ But Treble, meanwhile, journeyed back in time to take a closer look at the struggles females endured to gain the right to vote in its “The Right to be a Woman” piece. The performance also looked forward to the modern women and how women’s suffrage was simply a common right of citizenship.

Mark Mercer designed and directed the pieces for both choirs, with choreography by Darvin Hernendez and Beth Kennedy and arrangement by Joshua Green. Carter Lesky was the student leader of the pit band.

The choirs will travel next to Shepherd Hill Regional High School in Dudley to compete at the Central Massachusetts Festival on Saturday, Feb. 1.

Anyone interested in seeing the young vocalists closer to home will get their chance in March. Andover High School is hosting the first New England Show Choir Showdown on March 22 at the Collins Center. Seventeen show choirs from across New England and Canada will be featured at the daylong event. Tickets are available at