Sparkle and Shine: Wave Connection ready to put on show

TUPELO – The singers and dancers started practicing their routines during summer vacation.
Now, members of the 2010-11 version of Tupelo High School’s Wave Connection are looking for an audience.
“The audience is what gets me going,” said Nathan Wallace, a 17-year-old senior. “That’s how I get pumped up. I’m all about the audience.”
With music provided by the Structure Combo, Wave Connection’s show, “In the Heights,” will cover Broadway hits, rock ‘n’ roll songs and R&B classics.
“We really have a little bit of everything,” said Ashley Beard, a 17-year-old senior. “I like the competition portion of our show. It’s always last. It has ‘In the Heights’ and ‘Let My Love Open the Door’ and a lot of great songs. That’s what we’ve worked on the most.”
Other songs, chosen by director Calvin Ellis with suggestions from Wave Connection members, include “Baby, I’m a Star,” “The Love You Save,” “Thanks for the Memories,” “Tears in Heaven,” “Waiting on the World to Change” and many more.
“‘Walk This Way’ by Aerosmith is really fun. It’s got a lot of energy to it,” said Mary Larkin Rumbarger, a 17-year-old senior.
“Energy” is the right word. From start to finish, “In the Heights” is a workout. Show choir could be considered a team sport, with members trusting each other to hit the right notes and make the right moves.
“I think you can see us on stage and tell we all enjoy it,” said 18-year-old Tyler Crosswhite, a senior. “It’s a great experience.”
The show will run from Saturday until Tuesday, Oct. 26, at the THS Performing Arts Center. Between now and the opening, the students and their leaders will be rehearsing and polishing what they hope will be a crowd-pleasing show.
The overriding goal is to be ready and willing when audience members take their seats.
“It makes you want to do a lot better when you have an audience,” Beard said. “It makes you want to do 10 times better.”

Contact M. Scott Morris at (662) 678-1589 or scott.morris@djournal.com.

M. SCOTT MORRIS / NEMS Daily Journal