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CHOIRS GIVE BACK: Show choirs help out fellow performers

February 23, 2013

Columbia City High School show choirs recently raised funds to help Austin High School's show choir, in southern Indiana. Josh Graham (left) and Abby Vorndran serve patrons at Columbia City's Dairy Queen in exchange for a percentage of the night's proceeds. Post & Mail photo / Christie Barkley

COLUMBIA CITY — For students who are involved in multiple school and extra-curricular activities, time and energy can become depleted.
But in the middle of competition season, when Saturdays start early and end late, Columbia City High School’s show choir students have dug deep to find more time and more energy to serve another Indiana show choir.
Recently, students held a fundraiser at Dairy Queen, Columbia City, with some $500 raised for a competing choir.

Austin High School, in southern Indiana, is the home of Dimensions, a small-mixed show choir. On the way to compete at Northrop High School, Fort Wayne, in January, a slick interstate sent the choir’s equipment truck and trailer in a ditch.

With the accident, the choir suffered the loss of its trailer, instruments as well as most of its equipment and supplies.

Kathy Sego is Dimension’s director. She said the choir did not own its trailer but rented one. Because of that arrangement, the contents of the trailer were not insured and the choir was left to replace the items at its own cost.

As word reached Columbia City choir students of the fate that fell on Dimensions, ideas starting forming on how local performers could help.
“All we could do was think of how our kids would be effected if this happened to us,” said Mary Ann Vorndran a choir parent. “We knew we had to do something. The kids were excited to help.”

Although CCHS choirs would compete against AHS choirs, scores and trophies were the farthest thing from students’ minds.

“When you are in show choir you belong to a family,” said Sego. “When something happens to a choir, it just seems that people pull together. Yes, we compete against each other, but we also know how to work together.”

Dimension is a choir located in one of the poorest counties in Indiana. That makes the privilege of being in the choir that much more important to the students.

“For some, this choir is the one thing they belong to,” said Sego. “As soon as the accident happened the kids thought we would have to stop our competition season.”

But Sego wasn’t going to let that happen.
“I told the kids we would figure it out,” she said. “It speaks volumes to these kids that students all the way in northeast Indiana would care. The fact that Columbia City choirs wanted to help us is just remarkable. They don’t even know my kids. The only thing we have in common is show choir. It is just amazing what they have done for us”

Austin’s choir will have to replace its backdrop, storage containers, makeup, trusses and more. However, Sego is not disheartened. It’s through this set back that she intends to teach her students that anyone can make a come back.

“We just got up and went on. We are not giving up,” Sego said. “No one was badly hurt in the accident ­— that is a blessing. I knwo God will use this as a chance to pull us that much closer together. We will also have a very special connection with the choirs in Columbia City simply because they took time out of their busy schedule to help us and care about us. That means more than any amount of money.”

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