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Show choirs take on retreat

Members+of+Onstage+and+Ladies+First+prepare+for+a+water+gun+fight.++The+showchoirs+participated+in+many+bonding+activities+during+their+retreat+at+NIU.
Members of Onstage and Ladies First prepare for a water gun fight.  The showchoirs participated in many bonding activities during their retreat at NIU.

Members of Onstage and Ladies First prepare for a water gun fight. The showchoirs participated in many bonding activities during their retreat at NIU.

•courtesy of Clare Oneil

•courtesy of Clare Oneil

Members of Onstage and Ladies First prepare for a water gun fight. The showchoirs participated in many bonding activities during their retreat at NIU.

Kayleigh Padar

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After the last day of school, some students ignore any club responsibility until classes are back in session. This isn’t true for many students involved in the Onstage and Ladies First show choirs, who gathered at NIU for bonding activities and choreography at the end of July.

“I think it [the retreat] really helped us come together as a family. Because when you’re all sweaty, sore and tired together, it’s just so much more fun,” senior Alex Rivera Grant said.

Most of the retreat was spent participating in team bonding activities. However, this year the show choir began practicing competition choreography early so that when school comes back in session they’d already be ahead.

The senior class travelled up a day earlier, set up Pillars (guidelines for the group), and bond as a class.

“The retreat was a lot different as a senior this year because it shows how much the underclassman look up to you. We really had to act like leaders and show everyone what we wanted the group to be like,” senior Clare Oneil said.

Many seniors who went on the retreat have gone all four years, which made this one feel almost like a goodbye.

“It felt sad being a senior at the retreat, but it was a good way to wrap up the last three retreats,” senior Kayla Chung said.

In between organized bonding activities, the group spent time laughing and getting to know each other better.

“I thought that the funniest moment this year was when all the senior girls got on face masks and we danced and played games,” Oneil said.

The retreat is rarely forgotten about throughout the year as show choir continues.

“Our time at retreat and what happens there are very reflective of our season. If the retreat has a bad atmosphere, then the season may turn out bad, but if retreat is really good then the season is usually pretty good,” senior Patrick Cronin said.

The group seems to agree that the memories made at the retreat last for the entire season and bring the group closer together before most of the actual work even starts.

“Show choir retreat always helps everyone get to know people they never knew before. Although it doesn’t involve the whole choir, it does help everyone become more comfortable and we’re all able to spread the positivity throughout the whole choir family,” Oneil said.

This retreat is only the beginning of preparations for this year’s show choir season, which has not yet begun.

“As the years have gone on, I’ve realized to never take any of the show choir process for granted because you always look back and wish you enjoyed it more so this year I really tried to appreciate the process,” Oneil said.

Although different aspects of the retreat stood out for different members, simply being together during the summer was something many enjoyed.

“My favorite part of retreat has always been seeing all the different personalities the group has. It’s different every year and it’s always a joy to see what each person brings to the group. This retreat always helps us interact in different ways with each other and overall we become closer,” Oneil said.

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Show choirs take on retreat