Pros and cons of practicing for SING and FON

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As SING! season progressed, students spent more and more time preparing for the production. Festival of Nations is another student-run production that also entails considerable effort and time commitment. These productions require directors to occasionally hold practice on holidays (such as Veteran’s Day) and during breaks (such as the February break), especially as show dates grow closer. This ultimately leads to the loss of some days off for Harrisites participating in the productions. Students from both productions discussed the benefits and drawbacks of giving so much time to these activities.

Many view this sacrifice as a necessity for the production of the show. Senior Ashley Facey, one of the dance directors of SING! and a FON leader, stated, “People think they’re an inconvenience, but we get the most work done over breaks.” She added that the empty school provides more room and less interference with their work. “We can use the larger space [for] a larger practice, because for FON, one of our dances had [nearly] 50 people on the stage at once, and that’s not okay. It can be very hazardous.”

Nameera Khan, a sophomore in SING!’s vocal department, agreed with Ashley and said that  “meeting up helps to make sure that everyone knows what they are doing, and more importantly, that what they are doing is being done correctly.” 

Senior Lucas Ayala, a vocal director of SING!, recognized that some people may see the practices in a negative light. “No one really wants to go to school during an off day, but it’s valuable practice, and the extended time is good [for] team building,” he said.

Some students do not believe that practices should be held on days off since the sessions could become burdensome. Sophomore Angela Chen expressed her frustration with these kinds of practices. “THHS students actually need the day off for rest, and a little break from the stressful school work,” she said. Some parents also view the extra sessions as detrimental. Nameera explained, “My mom worries that SING! might take up time I could be using for studying.”

Other students agreed that practices take away from their time, but remain positive. Sophomore Adam Tully, a performer in the vocal department, stated, “It takes away from the break a little, but at least they don’t have us come in for two hours and then we spend the rest of the day with nothing. We come in for a decent amount of time.” 

Ultimately, while giving up free time may be difficult, having extra sessions can play a large role in the success of these student productions. Junior Ike Adedokun, a FON leader, said, “I don’t feel like it’s necessary to have practices on days off, but I think it benefits everyone in the end if we want to make something great happen.”

Photo courtesy of Jasmine Shum.