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Huntley draws in unique, local talent with variety showcase

                The day of the audition was a long day for senior Billy Craft.  He and his band had an audition scheduled after school and they had not practiced nearly enough for the event.  His band had played together publicly only once prior and though it went well it did not help with Craft’s nerves were not eased.

                “I had to stay after school all day just to prepare,” said Craft.  “As the front man I knew that if I screwed up, everyone else would.”

                Despite the last minute planning that needed to be done, Craft and his band did well enough in their audition to be put into the variety show.

                “We were happy but also very surprised,” Craft said.

                On March 6, Huntley High School will host the fourth annual Education Foundation Variety Showcase.  Many students from all around the district auditioned for the show.

                Students are not the only people that are invited to audition for the showcase.  People of all ages from the school district and the surrounding area were able to audition and perform.  Participants as old as 80 years may be performing this year.

                School board member Kimberly Skaja started the showcase four years ago.  She wanted to have something between the fall variety show and the spring musical.  Originally a holiday show, the idea did not work as well as hoped

                “People were too busy around the holidays so we had very few people sign up,” said Skaja.  “So I came up with the idea of a spring variety show and it has worked well.”

                Most in the show simply like performing.  Sophomore Andrea Leiras will perform “Like a Star” by Corinne Baily Rae

                “I like singing and I wanted to a chance to perform,” said Leiras. “I like the vocals [of the song] and felt it was something I could sing.

While some are using it this year simply as a platform to perform in front of an audience, others hoped to use it as a stage to deliver a message.

                “We wanted to do it because we thought it would talk to people,” said senior Lyla Weir talking about the skit she performed with C.H.I.L.L.

                Along with the rest of C.H.I.L.L., she auditioned with a skit that talks about subjects such as drinking and depression.

                “We know these are problems a lot of teens face so we’re praying it’ll help at least one person,” said Weir.  “That’d make all the hard work worth it.”

                Though they were not asked to be in the show, the group feels they still gained something from the experience.

                “As a performer, this is something for me to put on my resume,” said Craft, who was also involved in the C.H.I.L.L. skit.  “This is something I’ve wanted to do for a while and it’s good to get experience like this.”

                Not only is this a chance for people to perform, but it is also a chance to learn from those more experienced.

                “It’s fun to have such different age groups working together,” said Skaja.  “The older people enjoy working with the younger kids as well as the younger kids like to be around the older people.”

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    Jeremy MansfieldApr 14, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    I do believe that the C.H.I.L.L. group gained something from the experience. But at the same time, I do believe that the group was not asked to perform their skit because it had Christian themes to it. I believe the judges were afraid to put the skit in because of this. They will deny this and say that it was inappropriate because of some of the themes touched on in the skit such as drinking, smoking, cutting etc… But the truth is, these are problems teens deal with everyday. The skit was designed to show how teens could find hope and healing during their times of hurt through God. Huntley High school says they are tolerant and supportive of all groups, but if that group has something to do with faith, they will question it and say can’t you do that at church? I believe that Huntley High School’s Administration and Fabulous INC need to learn to be more tolerant, and allow those with a faith in God to share and express what they believe in. Whether that be through song, drama, art, clubs, or any other method. In the 2010 or 2009 Variety show I sang Jesus Messiah which had a Christian theme to it. Since then, I tried out for the variety show every year with another Christian themed song and was not asked to sing up until my graduation in 2011. As a Christian myself, I believe students who have a faith in God should be able to praise their God through talent if they so wish in the variety show, regardless of what ever religion they associate with. 
    What do you guys think?