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PHS Show Choir Turns Winter Into Summer with ‘Melt’

Poca High School’s Visual Volume donned blue and white attire to represent snow and ice.

Poca High School’s show choir Visual Volume premiered their 2024 competition show last Sunday, January 21. In addition to offering two performances, the Dot Debut also featured a spaghetti dinner, a Poca High School tradition that has gone back for many years.

Entitled “Melt,” the show depicted the seasonal transition from winter to spring and then summer. The show started out in the winter. Wearing blue and white costumes representing snow and ice, the performers opened with the hymn “In the Bleak Midwinter.” Other wintery songs chosen for the performance included “Hazy Shade of Winter” by Simon & Garfunkel, “Frozen” by Madonna, and “Cold Hearted Snake” by Paula Abdul.

“Here Comes the Sun” by the Beatles represented the transition from winter to spring as dancers changed their blue costumes for yellow ones. Music selections for this part of the performance were chosen to convey a sense of hope and sunny days to come.

As spring transitioned to summer, the atmosphere of the performance became more energetic. One of the songs chosen for this section, “Getting Hot in Here,” was written by arranger David Legg, one of Visual Volume’s previous directors. Other songs featured in medleys included “Some Like it Hot” by The Power Station, “Burning Up” by Jesse J., “Hot Hot Hot” by Buster Poindexter, and “Fireball” by Pitbull.

Visual Volume Director Michael Rose says that he had always wanted to do a show about the polar opposites of fire and ice, and had entertained the concept for this production for a number of years. He had originally planned for the theme to start in the summer and then transition through fall to winter, but as he began searching for songs to use in the production, he decided that it would be easier to go from winter to summer. Show Choir season is from January through March, and Rose felt that this would be a good way for the students to be able to relate to the production as the seasons changed.

“It is nice to see that the kids are finding ways to relate to this material through experience in their own lives,” Rose related.

Rose says that the Dot Debut is a way for Visual Volume to premiere their show in a non-competitive format for friends and family. In addition to offering a production for the community, the Dot Debut also served as a fundraiser to raise money for the show choir.

Poca High School’s show choir has existed for forty years now, having been started in the 1983-4 school year by Kim Edwards, who later went on to become the director of Hurricane’s Red Hot Show Choir. Michael Rose became the director of Visual Volume in August of 2020, and he has focused on continuing to grow and improve the show choir. One addition he has brought to Visual Volume is a dedicated band for the show choir: The Sound Waves, which is made up of eight student horn players from the marching band.

Visual Volume has won the festival division at the West Virginia State Show Choir Competition for the past three years. Although the choir only has twenty-six members, they compete with groups twice as large and have continuously placed in the top six in the festivals they have attended.

“We are always very thankful for the Poca community and their support of the program,” says Rose. “The school has really embraced us as part of the school culture, and I am very thankful for the administrative support as well. Putnam County is home to some of the best show choirs in the state. For me personally, it is an honor to be a part of that tradition, and making sure that Visual Volume is still recognized for their tradition of excellence.”

Visual Volume will perform on January 27 at the Emerald Classic at Winfield High School. Their schedule for the rest of the season includes Marion-Harding High School in Ohio on February 2; the Show Choir Festival at Poca High School on February 17; Cabell Midland High School on February 24; Sissonville High School on March 9; Herbert Hoover High School on March 16. On March 23, Visual Volume and Poca High School will be hosting the West Virginia State Show Choir Festival, where they will also compete.

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