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Talented RHS Choir Members Stage Memorable Les Mis Concert

RHS Choir stages a concert version of Les Misérables, on May 23, 2024, in the high school auditorium.

The RHS Choir staged a wonderful concert version of the iconic musical, Les Misérables, on May 23, 2024, in the high school auditorium.

Matthew Swiss, the show’s choir director and accompanist, along with Jessica Pomeroy, the show’s co-director and conductor, helped the performers develop their musicality and character choices to adapt the story-telling aspect of the musical to the concert version.

Not only did Les Mis introduce musical theater to many of the choir members, but it also had a positive emotional impact on the students. “I was so excited to put on this show because it was so much more immersive than our traditional choir concerts,” said cast member Bridget DeConto, who played Javert. “It was fun to give our music more of a story and meaning than were used to.”

Les Mis takes place in 19th-century France and tells the story of Jean Valjean, a man who is imprisoned for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his sister’s starving child. The story goes into depth about the cruel nature of “miserable” people who eventually face the consequences of their actions, all while portraying the social injustices, political upheaval and economic struggles the lower-class citizens faced during that time period.

Les Mis emphasizes the themes of justice, the true meaning of sacrifice and the importance of love. Other characters such as Fantine (Amaia Biggan), Eponine (Amelia Diaz), Cosette (Pooja Das), Javert (Bridget DeConto) and Marius (Ben Herring), have stories that intertwine with Jean Valjean’s and add to the over-arching themes of the musical.

Although cast and crew members agreed that staging Les Mis was difficult, they felt it was also a wonderful learning experience for the choir. “There were some people who were involved in the music-making in Les Mis who are normally in stage crew or tech crew for the musicals, but maybe after this, they now realize that being a part of the cast is something they’d want to do,” said cast member Gerald Creighton, who played Jean Valjean.

“It’s just the kind of experience that can really change your whole perspective on concerts and really make you appreciate how much work and effort your peers put into something they love,” Creighton added.

The concert featured a band, orchestra and choir members performing on the auditorium stage. Because this show was more complex than traditional choir concerts, cast members reported having to complete a lot of production work in a short amount of time on aspects of the show including live accompaniment, acting and costumes.

Cast and crew members also reported that they derived plenty of positive outcomes from putting this show together, including learning and growing not only as singers but as artists as well. Costume designers Tingyu Yuan and Tyler Pietrzykowski, for example, reused clothes from previous shows and whatever they had at hand to help the characters look their best. “Not being able to rent costumes turned into a good thing because we were forced to be creative,” costume designer Tingyu Yuan said.

The talented cast and crew—as well as the show’s directors and accompanists–deserve props for staging one of the most memorable performances of the school year.

About the Contributor
Liz Bukh
Liz Bukh, Photo Editor
Elizabeth (Liz) Bukh is a junior and the photo editor for Rampage. Liz has taken Intro to Photography as well as Photography I and II. This is her first year on staff at Rampage, and she is excited to take pictures for the school, whether they be for Rampage or the Yearbook. Outside of taking pictures, Liz does track and field and wants to work in the field of public relations in the future.
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