WD Forté poses for a picture during their Dixieland performance.

WD Forté’s Show Choir Moms and Dads

You’ve heard of the Abby Lee Dance Company "Dance Moms", but have you heard of show choir moms and dads?

April 27, 2018

Mariah Seeley

Each year, WD Forté relies on the substantial outside help of show choir parents to function smoothly.

“I became a show choir mom because I saw a need. The moms that were currently doing the job needed some more help, so I offered,” show choir mom Brenda Crumpton said.

On top of volunteering at rehearsals, the parents typically attend every competition, quick fix costumes, provide support, root on their kids and the group and perform numerous other tasks.

Throughout the competitive days, the parents chat with the performers, even providing humor.

Performer Denise Cherry (10) distinctly recalls a humorous bus ride to a competition. As the bus left school, show choir mom Tenille Rogers turned around in her seat. Cherry said, “She said something along the lines of ‘This can be a real party bus since I can be a fun Mom, but if things get to be too out-of-hand, I can be a real bear.’ That’s stuck with me as one of the funniest moments I’ve had with one of the show choir parents.”

The Dixieland-themed show won Best Costumes at Western Dubuque, thanks to costume designer and show choir mom Angie Zehr. She spent countless hours designing and producing the clothing, even hand making all 52 yellow tear away dresses and vests. Each dress took approximately five hours to finish, totaling a whopping 260 hours just to sew them. In addition, embellishments had been hot glued on. For help, Zehr called in backup: the show choir moms.

“Monday night practices…..gluing, gluing and more gluing,” show choir mom Julie Seeley said. “This year we had quite a bit of gluing for the yellow dresses, and to watch them on stage during the ballad was beautiful.”

While the moms were occupied with the costume creations, the dads were building the unique set filled with surprises and lights. Show choir dads Chris Zehr and Rick Seeley, as well as director Duane Philgreen, spent their Monday evenings designing the set, piecing it together and running the audio.

“When working on the set, I worked during show choir practices on Monday nights for about three hours,” Chris said. “(It’s rewarding) when it is complete, and you get to see how it adds to the overall show.”

While volunteering takes a lot of time and commitment, the parents are willing to volunteer for the West Delaware Music Department. “It is so fun to see the kids up on stage having fun and see their excitement,” Angie said.

I don’t do this for myself. I do it for the kids.”

— Angie Zehr

Whether a parent volunteers to make food for Red Carpet Gala or is at every Monday night rehearsal and competition, jobs await completion.

“Jump in and have fun. Take this time to embrace and experience the time with your kids but also share your expertise to help in various areas,” Seeley said. “It helps enhance the already high caliber type of performances that are consistently experienced at West Delaware. Help is always needed.”

Students are highly grateful for the help exerted. “I definitely want to say keep up the hard work,” performer Andrea Salow (12) said. “It reflects on us kids to see how much the parents put their time and effort into their already busy days to help us out and be great role models, exemplifying good life skills like time management, cooperation and problem-solving.”

Ending their season, the hard work of the parents, directors and students have paid off.  

“Thank you so much. It has really made the experience of being in WD Forté probably the best it could ever be,” Cherry said. “Thanks to your hard work, dedication and support, Forté is able to reach its full potential in order to represent our school. We couldn’t have gone to Dixieland this year without you! We love you guys so much!”

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  • Costume reveal!

    Darcey Reetz

  • The Dixieland Express is revealed to audience members.

  • Show Choir dad Chris Zehr goofs around while preparing for a show.

    Rick Seeley

  • Students helping the show choir dads set up the stage.

  • Students help unload the trailer.

    Rick Seeley

  • WD Forté poses for a picture during their Dixieland performance.

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