The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

‘Blast’ cast, crew ensures 25th anniversary show will go on

Blast 25: Mixtape features a mix of songs from both the past and present and will run from Feb. 21 to March 21.

Choral director Matthew Albright, the director of this year’s production, made artistic decisions and chose songs and ticket prices, among other responsibilities.  The decision to choose the name “Mixtape” stemmed from his own life.

“I wanted a term that would talk about the past and present,” Albright said.  “Also, when I was growing up, you could mix music from radio and music from tapes and listen to them in playlists.”

Albright is enthusiastic about the opportunities Blast offers to CHS students who love to perform.

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Blast is a great opportunity to engage in a multidisciplinary performance,” Albright said.  “It represents gesamtwerk, which means total artwork.”

Student producer and senior Maddie Krueger, one of 17 soloists in this year’s performance, is taking part in her fourth and final year in Blast.

“Basically, I am the student in charge of the entire show,” Krueger said.  “I have to make sure that rehearsals happen and that people know where they are supposed to be.”

The rehearsal process includes a complete rehearsal for the entire show once a week as well as scheduled rehearsals coordinated by Krueger.  In addition, song leads take charge of preparation for their song.

“Everyone gets stressed during rehearsal,” vocal captain and senior Shelley Austin said.  “However, during tech week and production everyone gets along really well and great relationships are built.”

Preparation for this year’s production was not without its challenges, but performances will still go ahead as scheduled.

“I think the limited amount of time really hindered us,” Krueger said.  “Between events that limited space to the pipe burst to the snow days, it’s been really hard to fit in all the necessary rehearsal.”

Delays in the arrival of the music also posed a problem for the production.

“We didn’t receive the music until very recently, so that was stressful for the band and performers,” Austin said.  “Also, the breaks and snow days cut down time, so that was stressful too.”

The tech crew was also affected by the time limitations but has adapted as much as possible.

According to assistant student tech director and audio crew chief junior Aidan Gray, the tech crew is “crazy flexible and used to having tight deadlines.”

Students will be performing songs from past decades including “Thriller,” “Celebration” and “Love Shack,” as well as some from recent years, such as “Moves Like Jagger,” “Suit and Tie” and “Bad Romance.”


offers a great opportunity for students to enjoy the arts and do what they love.

“My favorite thing about Blast is being able to stay after school to sing and dance,” sophomore Carly Rosenfeld said.

More student choreographers have been involved in the rehearsal process this year.

“When students do their own choreography, it demonstrates learning in an educational environment,” Albright said.

According to dance captain junior Mackenzie Testa, she and her partner, Sloane Momsen, receive the songs, listen to them a few times, come up with the choreography to each verse, and then start teaching.

Krueger, along with others, has enjoyed being part of the community of students who participate in the production.

“When the lights are on, and you are singing and dancing alongside some of your best friends, there is nothing to compare it to,” Krueger said.  “It’s definitely something that I’ll miss.”

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‘Blast’ cast, crew ensures 25th anniversary show will go on