On June 10th in PAC, PHS Choir will present its annual Cabaret Night, featuring a collection of songs from a diverse set of artists. This year’s installment will deliver a wide range of songs, from pop hits by Adele to musical theatre favorites like Hamilton and The Color Purple to the old fashion rock and roll of Chuck Berry.
The especially eclectic range of genres reflects a wish to create a setlist that works with students’ talents, vocal abilities, and preferences.
“We like to ask the students if they have any requests. So, Hamilton was one of their requests. A lot of the girls did Adele songs for their auditions, so we thought, ‘let’s do an Adele set!’ But really, we just look at their voice types and see what would work nicely,” Pelletier said.
The choir directors also try to purposefully challenge their singers with these unusual styles.
“Sometimes, we try to give them a style that they’ve never sung before. Like the Chuck Berry set — nobody has sung in that style. So the boys are asking, ‘you want us to sing that?’ And we’re saying, ‘Yup.’ It’s gonna be different, but it’s really to give them exposure to different styles,” Pelletier said.
Zane Zapata ’17 is a perfect example of a singer challenged with singing more unexpected and unusual styles.
“I have a solo for ‘Death of a Bachelor,’ a Panic at the Disco! song. I’ve never sung anything like it before. It’s very jazzy and poppy at the same time,” said Zapata.
Another thing driving the diversity of the program was the annual tradition of including tributes to legendary artists who have passed away in the year. This year, George Michael and Chuck Berry were chosen.
“I’m going to sing ‘Faith’ by George Michael. We often like to pay tribute to artists that we’ve lost. Last year, we did Prince,” said Gus Binnie ’17, a member of the choir.
All this has helped deliver a much more crowd-pleasing show this year.
“I think it’s a lot more appealing for the crowd. We have a Hamilton set, which I know a lot of people were psyched about. I know we didn’t have much of that last year,” Zapata said.
“And there are also a lot of all-time classics in the show, which is really exciting, and which I think makes a much more appealing show,” added Binnie.
This Cabaret Night is the largest and most musically diverse ever, and acts as a nice conclusion for a particularly strong year of PHS Choir.
“It is a really enjoyable experience. I think the whole choir has grown a lot since the beginning of the year. And it will really show at Cabaret Night,” Pelletier said.