Drifters and Sandpipers Take Names at Muscatine and Milton

Watch out for Carmen while heading toward the future with the CHS Show Choirs!


Taken By Tristan Dybas

Grae Stockhausen, Features Section Editor

The 2022-2023 Chesterton Drifters and Sandpipers kicked off the beginning of their show choir season with a preview of their two shows, “Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego?” and “Past, Present, Future”. This preview is called Winter Showcase and was for members’ families and friends, as well as show choir alumni and fans. 

The Drifters theme features senior Jorana Banseviciute as Carmen Sandiego, a sneaky spy who makes her way across the globe after stealing a giant diamond.

“I love being Carmen, it was hard at first though because it was finding this completely new character that wasn’t like me so it took a lot of work but now that I really have that character in me, I really love being Carmen.”

Their setlist contains many well-known songs, such as “Smooth Criminal”, “Dangerous Woman”, and “Habanera”. Four soloists are featured in the show, three in the first number and one in the ballad. Sophomore Jane Maddex, freshman Ava Cunningham, and senior Emily Willis are the soloists that open the show and begin the first number. Their trio makes the beginning of the show interesting and sparks a bit of curiosity as they sing about how fascinating New York City is. Their second number is a homage to Carmen, a song about how talented of a spy she is and how she sneaks herself out of any situation she gets herself tangled in. Senior Claire Jerome is the soloist in the ballad and their delicate voice compliments the song and its desperate tone very well.

“I was really nervous the first time I performed it during our dress rehearsal but everyone was so nice and supportive about it, so now I really don’t care. When I sing my solo, I just sing it.”

The ballad is a mash-up of the songs “Get Here” and “Somewhere Out There”. After the ballad, the Drifters sing about traveling the world to catch Carmen, who’s traveling in tandem to trick them and evade being caught. At the show’s end, you’ll see whether Carmen Sandiego gets caught or escapes with the diamond. 

While the Sandpipers show doesn’t have a storyline, there is definitely a message in the show’s theme. “Past, Present, Future” focuses on the abstract idea of moving forward and looking forward to the future. The show is stylistically different for each number and progresses from a sort of Broadway, 60s feel to a more futuristic one. The opener begins with a solo from the well-known musical Anastasia featuring two seniors, Maggie Oksimowicz and Keven Schmidt, and then moves to an energized song about leaving the past behind. It then progresses to a song with a bright stage presence and leads into the ballad. The ballad features three soloists, all of them first-year show choir members. Freshman Antonio Unpingco and junior Luke Housman begin the song with a harmonizing duet, which is followed by freshman Karleigh Pawlyszyn’s solo. Unpingco commented,

“I was very surprised because obviously a lot of the solos are given to upperclassmen and the duet was given to me and Luke, first-year Sandpipers. Especially me because I’m a freshman.”

After the ballad, the show takes on a more futuristic tone. Senior Chris Woods sings a solo from the song “Year 3000” while accompanied by four other Piper boys dancing along with him. Chris’ solo is followed by the final solo of the show, where junior Sofia Cunningham raps along to “Future Nostalgia” and introduces the girl’s part of the fourth number. The closer is a hyped-up song about how the future is alive and how we’re all headed for the future.

On the weekend of January 14, the Show Choirs had their first competition at Muscatine, Iowa. The Drifters performed first, classified in the Unisex Division, and got second place, beating “Showtime” Iowa City West High School’s Unisex Show Choir, but falling short behind “Intensity” Ankeny High School’s Show Choir. The Sandpipers performed later in the day and ended up in second place, beating five other groups, but losing to “Visual Adrenaline” Ankeny High School’s Mixed Show Choir. They also made it to finals and after performing for a second time, ended up taking the second place spot, losing again to “Visual Adrenaline”. Both teams did great and ended up taking home three second-place trophies.

This past weekend, the Show Choirs traveled up to Milton, Wisconsin to perform at Milton’s “Rock The Rock.” The Drifters performed first, and while the other show choirs in their division dropped out, they still were able to beat all the prep group’s scores and were the fifth overall highest-scoring group of the whole competition. They took home the Unisex Division first-place trophy due to the other groups dropping out. The Sandpipers made it to finals and ended up winning Grand Champions, which is the first time the Pipers have gotten Grand Champs in 5 years! They also took home the caption award for Best Band, Best Crew, and Best Vocals. Karleigh Pawlyszyn won first place in Solo Competition and Luke Housman won second place in Solo Competition. Stay tuned for more show choir wins from the Drifters and Sandpipers this season.