Butler Gleeks won’t stop believing in show choir

Photo by Maria Porter

Tempted to break into song and dance after watching this week’s  season premiere of Glee?

Suddenly inspired to incorporate catchy tunes into your everyday life?

If the answer is ‘Yes,’ try it.  That is exactly what three Butler University students did.

Two years ago, senior Eric Shoemaker set out with two of his best friends to make the fictional Glee a reality by creating the Butler University Show Choir.

However, real life show choirs and the fictional Gleeks lead different lives.

In real life, the process of forming a show choir is not so simple.  BUSC held auditions last week with a total of 14 veteran members and 11 rookies comprising the 2011-2012 group.

While the Fox show has indeed boosted the understanding of show choir, real groups, such as BUSC, spend more time working on pieces and performances than their on- screen counterparts.

Paige Newman, junior english literature major and vice president of BUSC, said she gives credit to the popular song and dance series because it sheds light on the show choir world.  Nonetheless, she said the audience must understand that songs and choreography do not happen overnight.

“People definitely have a better understanding of what show choir is,” Shoemaker said.  “However, in Glee, the students learn the songs almost instantaneously, which is certainly not the case in real life.”

The next step for the group is to form committees to begin choreography, to choose songs and to schedule performances.

Newman said one of the biggest challenges is finding a time to practice that can accommodate everyone’s schedule.

Doug Smittle, a digital media product major and member of BUSC’s original trio, said college students are inherently busy.  Last year was a bit of trial and error process.  But the club has learned  to delegate and improve their time management skills and is ready to focus on moving forward.

“We made some mistakes,” Smittle said. “But in the long run that was a good thing, because now we know how to avoid making those same mistakes in the future.”

With this kind of attitude, Shoemaker and the rest of the group have big dreams.

“I want [students] to know that one day BUSC will be a powerhouse on campus like ‘Out of the Dawg House’ and ‘Freshly Brewed,’” Shoemaker said.  “We are a group that has a lot of fun and works very hard.”

Because it is early in the season and it takes a lot of time and effort to put together a show, BUSC does not yet have any performances scheduled.

In the meantime, Butler students can expect to be surprised by the choir.  Literally.

“We will have random ‘flash mob’ performances around Starbucks and on the mall,” Shoemaker said.

Other plans include exhibitions at local high school competitions and performing a show in April in the Reilly Room.

“We are hoping to have our spring show in April,” Shoemaker said. “You will certainly see us before that though.”


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