Musical staff

Vestavia Hills students and staff participate in World Games ceremonies

When the 2022 World Games begin at Protective Stadium during the opening ceremony on July 7, and when the international event concludes during the closing ceremony on July 17, several students from Vestavia Hills City Schools, a staff member and a recently retired staff member will be part of the shows.

Eleven students will be part of the youth choir, which will be led by former Vestavia Hills High School choir director Megan Rudolph, while Faith Lenhart, who chairs the high school’s arts education department, is the movement’s coordinator. .

Livi Cate Osborne, a junior, said she was really excited to be part of the World Games in her hometown because it’s “a really big deal” for the town.

Clara White, also a junior, said Rudolph encouraged her last year during her time in the honors choir, and she and other students submitted video auditions to earn their place in the choir. Although the choir won’t start rehearsing until the summer, it will perform new music, written specifically for the ceremonies. Each show will last two hours.

Lenhart called it a “unique opportunity”, while White said the opportunity to be part of something so big in Birmingham was very special.

Osborne said she never thought the World Games would come to Birmingham.

Both girls have been involved with the choir for a long time and said they were delighted to represent Vestavia on the international stage.

“We have a lot of school spirit,” Osborne said.

White, who joined the choir in middle school, said she grew up listening to music with her father and said her family was music-oriented. Osborne said she also joined a college choir.

“I did the choir at my church,” Osborne said. “My choirmaster in fifth grade was the same choirmaster at Pizitz, and I love him so much.”

White said she planned to attend Auburn and eventually become a choir director, while Osborne said she wanted to continue participating in the choir during her college years. Being part of the World Games will also help build a resume, Osborne said.

Working with Rudolph again is “exciting,” White said, and Osborne said working with her “takes away some of the nerves.”

Rudolph said he was asked to lead the youth choir for the opening and closing ceremonies and said it was “absolutely mind-boggling” that he was asked to lead the choir of 120 students.

The ceremonies will include, among other things, the largest LED screen ever built in the United States, and are similar to a Super Bowl halftime show or the opening ceremony of the Olympics, Rudolph said.

Rudolph said it was special to be with Vestavia students again after retiring after the 2020-21 school year.

Lenhart works with the artistic director, Henry Panion, and is the liaison between the costume designer and the various performers during the ceremonies, as well as coordinating rehearsals and where the performers will be. Lenhart could also do choreography.

Panion said the ceremonies will appeal to a wide range of audiences. Several stars, such as the Alabama band and Sara Evans, will join the opening ceremony, as well as a large number of dancers, a 75-piece orchestra, a gospel choir of more than 100 voices and the youth choir , did he declare. The total cast for the opening ceremony is 700 attendees, Panion said.

Randy Owen, Alabama’s lead singer, is working with Panion to write a theme song for the Games called “Hope of Alabama”.

The protective stadium will also be transformed, with stagings of lights, sounds and effects similar to a Disney presentation, Panion said.

World Games leaders wanted the ceremonies to represent the entire Birmingham metropolitan area, leading to the selection of students from the area for the youth choir, as well as the inclusion of Lenhart and Rudolph, whom Panion branded as “great additions to the team”.

“We really wanted to showcase the wonderful talent that’s in Alabama,” Panion said. “We all love football, but we rarely get the chance to show other wonderful things in our state.”

The 2022 World Games will be broadcast to a global audience, with more than 110 countries able to watch the events.

Participating in the Vestavia Hills City Schools Youth Choir: Kate Carney, London Riley Pigott, Garrison Chambers, Alexis Rudolph, Carson Schomack, Carrie Ella Smith, Reagan Kessler, Katherine de Buys, Sara Kate Lynch, Osborne and White.