Chorus vs. Mama May: Who Stole the Show?

Gabby Brinez-Pardo, Fine Arts Writer

Lights are off and the crowd whispers with excitement. Before you know it, the spotlights are on, zombies have taken over the stage, and Michael Jackson begins to play. On March 29th and 30th, chorus students wowed yet again with their annual Dinner Theater. They kicked off the night with a combined performance by all of the chorus groups who sang the classic, “Thriller” and the night only got better from there.

Chorus 1 sang a medley dedicated to the iconic band, The Beatles. From well known songs such as “Can’t Buy Me Love” and “Hey Jude” to some of the band’s overlooked songs like “Eleanor Rigby” and “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” the group gave a nostalgic performance of better days. Throughout the medley there was also a few solos from talented individuals. One of the soloists, Toby Kemble, elaborated on what it was like to audition and receive a solo. “In class we held auditions, she [Mrs. Mayfield] asked who wanted to audition for it and the guys who wanted to audition for it would go up to the piano and sing several different parts. Then she would decide who would get what solo. As for performing it, it was pretty nerve-wracking but it’s a great experience,” says Kemble. After Chorus 1, there was an encore that sang a medley of “Journey’s Greatest Hits.” The group had great energy in their blue jeans and white tees. With songs such as “Faithfully” and “Don’t Stop Believin,’” they continued to take the audience back in time.

The all-girls group, Treble Choir, was up next and they changed up the song menu with a Roger Emerson arrangement of “Lollipop” and a medley by Mac Huff called “Girl Power.” In the medley they sang a bit of Alicia Key’s “This Girl is on Fire,” Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song,” and Katy Perry’s “Roar.” Judging by the smiles on the girls’ faces, I think it’s safe to say “Roar” was probably the majority’s favorite part. It was certainly the favorite of treble member Kaitlyn Griffith who said the medley was her favorite “…specifically because of the “Roar” section just because that was the best! It was just easy and fun!” After Treble came a small girls group called Sweet Harmony who gave a lovely performance of “Build Me Up Buttercup.”

On the dinner theater program it was listed that there was a “special guest” that would be up after Sweet Harmony. However, I’m not sure anyone was expecting what happened next. A small group of seven guys got up on stage dressed in The Village People outfits and danced to the beloved song, YMCA. They started off on stage but then they ended up running around through the crowd, engaging with the audience and getting everyone in the auditorium off of their feet and clapping and singing along.

After a brief intermission, Singers took the stage with a mini musical called “Top Forty.” They dressed up from all different decades and sang everything from “I Love Rock and Roll,” to “Henry VIII,” “Uptown Girl,” and “Addicted to Love.” They had a variety of solos, great choreography, and sang something that everyone in the audience could enjoy.

Before the night was over, Mrs. Mayfield – some may know her better by “Mama May” – was honored due to this being her last year working at Mauldin High School. Mayfield has been at Mauldin High for 26 years and is now retiring. It was announced that the Mauldin High Auditorium will be renamed to the Pamela Mayfield Auditorium for Mama May’s many years at Mauldin, for all the lives she has touched, the days she has brightened, and the smiles she has put on the faces of students through the power of music. The students and audience were all in agreement that it was proper to rename the auditorium in honor of Mayfield and gave a standing ovation with thunderous applause in support of it.

Dinner theater was a wonderful experience where our chorus student’s talents were showcased. The surprise ending and Mrs. Mayfield’s sentiments about her love for the school and the students she’s taught made the experience all the more enjoyable.