Glee for St Gregory after choir link-up

Clarice Julianda from St Gregory School

USA-based show choir Counterpoints stars Laura Remeika, Alysha Clark, Phillip Cheng and Ellie Krueger

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by

GLEE fever hit an Oxford school this week as a champion show choir from America made an all-singing, all-dancing appearance.

Counterpoints, from North Central High School in Indianapolis, are currently the Indianapolis state show choir and the state’s concert choir champions.

They joined forces with St Gregory the Great School show choir, based at the Cricket Road school on Wednesday.

Show choirs, where singers perform pop hits, have risen in popularity on both sides of the Atlantic thanks to the hit TV show Glee.

The St Gregory singers opened the show with a performance of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Proud Mary.

Then the 46-strong Counterpoints choir took to the stage and performed a mixture of hits including Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Green Day and Jay Ho from the film Slumdog Millionaire. Jade Saunders, 14, from Cowley, is in the St Gregory show choir.

She said: “It’s really exciting to meet new people who do the same thing but differently.

St Gregory’s choir came to their US counterpart’s attention after performing in Germany last summer, and the Oxford school was approached to host the American choir.

Miss Saunders added: “It makes us feel quite special they’ve heard of us. We want to be as good as they are.”

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Emily Prachar, 13, from Cowley, added: “They were really good, quite advanced in what they do and good examples for what we want to do.”

The St Gregory show choir was set up in September 2010 after fans of Glee asked music teacher John Hunter if they could do something similar.

Counterpoints has been running since 1958, starting out with a group of 12 students.

Two of the pupils in today’s line-up are Laura Remeika and Phillip Chang, both 18.

They were full of praise for their English counterparts.

Phillip said: “They are really mature for their age and handled themselves so well.

“They’re definitely on track to do well. They’ve got lots of the pieces in place, great direction, a student population passionate about what they are doing and great facilities.”

Laura added: “They seemed really passionate about starting a show choir here and talked about wanting to practise more.”

St Gregory the Great show choir music director John Hunter described the show as “superb”.

He said: “I hope our students take from it the pure enjoyment, focus, discipline and performance skills they have seen from Counterpoints.”

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