Follies gets serious with ‘Rise Up’

Ted Conneen, Staff Writer


The audience was on their feet as another spectacular Fall Follies came to a close. The annual performance showcases five different choirs with students ranging from freshmen to seniors.

This year’s theme was Rise Up, a message for young adults to make a change in the world.

“It is a great message for kids to listen to and learn,” senior Nathan Takahashi said. “We want them to take it to heart.” Takahashi has been in Fall Follies all four years at Cary-Grove. He was in Swing Choir and A Cappella this year.

Takahashi’s desire for the audience to internalize the message was fulfilled, according to Principal Sargeant.

“You could tell it was meaningful for [the students] in light of all the things that are going on in society,” Mr. Sargeant said.

This year’s show included a song from the very popular musical Hamilton. The extremely successful production follows the life of Alexander Hamilton, a patriot. Hamilton believed in standing up for what is right, no matter the consequences. His beliefs are a great example of “rising up” and doing what’s right.

Pulling off a production as complex as Fall Follies requires a lot of preparation.

“The choirs start preparing the first week of school and the pit band starts at the beginning of October and practices every weekend,” Mr. Whalen said. Mr. Whalen has the important job of conducting the pit band. He also co-teaches the Beginning Mixed Choirs.

“We all worked very hard,” sophomore Harry Heinisch said. He is in Advanced Mixed choir and this was his first Follies. “It was a great experience to be a part of.”

Takahashi highlighted how much of the production is created by the students themselves.

“It’s a special group” of students, he said. In Beginning Mixed, Advanced Mixed, and Bel Canto choirs, the students created their own choreography and costumes for the performance, and the pit band that played the music for the performance almost entirely comprised students.

Fall Follies has always been a big hit and is loved by the community. Mr. Sargent is also a big supporter of the annual show.

Follies is a great forum and a great celebration for how hard our kids work and how talented they are,” he said

From the student preparation to making a change in the world, this year’s Follies continued that tradition.