CARTHAGE, Mo. — Three Carthage High School choirs will travel to a number of competitions across the state during the first months of 2020, and they’ll take a bunch of costumes, props, instruments, risers and other equipment with them.
This weekend, choir students, faculty and parents are hosting a pancake feed to raise money to buy a dedicated cargo trailer for the choirs to use to haul their gear with them.
The pancake feed will take place from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Carthage Nazarene Church, 2000 Grand Ave. Cost is $5 per adult and $2 for children under 5. The menu includes pancakes, sausage, coffee, milk and apple juice.
Students members of the Concert Choir, Suite Sounds and Soundwave will provide live entertainment during the feed, according to Joey Sprenkle, vice president of the Carthage Show Choir Booster Club.
Sprenkle said the trailer is needed to make transporting hundreds of pounds of gear easier for the students and staff, who will travel to nine competitions this winter.
The first of these is a three-day trip next week to Columbia for the Rock Bridge Show Choir Festival.
“Currently, the choirs share a trailer with the entire school district, and it is not equipped with what we need to properly transport all of our costumes, instruments, backdrops, risers, stuff like that,” Sprenkle said. “With so many people using one trailer, things happen and it gets damaged and we just need to be able to use a trailer that can accommodate what our needs are.”
Sprenkle said the students are trying to raise $12,000. About $8,000 is needed to purchase the cargo trailer, and $4,000 will be used to add shelving, rails and other items needed to safely secure and transport the students’ gear.
“We have a little over 100 students,” Sprenkle said. “Every one of them has at least two costumes. Everyone has shoes, undergarments. We have props — they’re all large-sized because they hold them up in the air when they’re dancing. We have to have proper storage for the shoes where we can take the boxes and put them up properly so they’re not getting ruined. We have a band that travels with us so all their instruments have to be in there and stored safely for travel. They have their makeup, we have to take certain risers to every competition because we require certain risers that maybe some schools do not have.”
The choirs transport their gear within Carthage as well. They practice at Carthage High School, but performances and musicals are held at the Carthage R-9 Auditorium at the future Carthage Sixth Grade Center on South Main Street.
“All that stuff still has to be transported between the high school and auditorium several times a year as well,” Sprenkle said. “Sometimes part of it has to be taken to the auditorium for a play or musical, and the musicals are part of the music department.”
In addition to the pancake feed, the choirs are seeking corporate sponsors to donate to the cause. The trailer will feature a vinyl wrap that will have the Carthage show choir logo, and it will feature the logos of any company that donates to the trailer.
The students also will offer singing telegrams for delivery on Valentine’s Day with those proceeds also going toward the trailer.
Sprenkle said reservations are not needed for the pancake feed. People can come in at any time and enjoy pancakes and entertainment from the talented singers and dancers of the Carthage High School vocal music department.
The pancake feed kicks off a busy time for the students, faculty and parents of the Carthage High School Vocal Music Department.
The choirs will pack their gear and head to Columbia for the Rock Bridge Show Choir Festival on Jan. 10, will perform on Jan. 11 and return Jan. 12.
The following weekend they’ll perform at Mount Vernon High School. Then after one weekend off, they’ll have events on all five weekends in February, traveling to Joplin, Harrisonville, Nevada and Webb City.
The students will host Carthage Soundfest on Feb. 21-22 at Carthage High School.
The festival season wraps up on the weekend of March 13 with another trip to Columbia for the Battle Show Choir Festival at Battle High School, then students will prepare for district and state choir competitions.
Details about the Carthage vocal music program can be found at http://carthagechoir.weebly.com.