Wave Connection mixes it up with ‘Jai Ho’

Song and dance
– What: Tupelo High School Wave Connection’s “Jai Ho”
– When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Nov. 2-3; 2:30 p.m. Nov. 1
– Where: THS Performing Arts Center
– Tickets: $7/advance from Wave Connection members, $8/at the door, $4/Saturday for children 10 and under in Halloween costumes
Info: (662) 844-6808

– Cast: Alex Barnes, Ashley Beard, Sara Kathryn Beasley, Lizzie Brevard, Mary Morgan Brown, Mary Elizabeth Butts, Isabel Gray, Holly Harrington, Emerson Holliman, Catherine Holman, Anna Catherine Holmes, Hannah Hudson, Emily Johnson, Kayla Jones, Mary Jourdan, Zoe Kelley, Amber Langford, Laura Matthews, Jane Alice Moore, Danna Nobile, Rebekah Robinson, Mary Larkin Rumbarger, Sadler Sanders, Holly Smith, Houston Buckley, Andrew Clark, Will Collins, Tyler Crosswhite, Eli Davis, Patrick Haadsma, Sam Hand, Paul Harris, Jacob Harrison, Max Holman, O’Shin Howard, Cody Ivy, Roderick Jackson, Jay Jourdan, Austin Kinsey, Sam McAlilly, Hunter McGhie, J.G. Miley, Taylor Nabors, Will Otis, Stuart Rial, Peyton Robertson, James Spencer, A.J. Stewart, Stephen Stone, Ross Waycaster, Hunter York

TUPELO – When planning this year’s concert, Calvin Ellis decided it was time to push members of Tupelo High School’s Wave Connection.
“Every year, we try to bring new things to the program and try to make it interesting for the kids,” said Ellis, the show choir director. “We think they’re definitely capable of handling diversity of music, differing styles and genres.”
To prove his point, Wave Connection will open its 2009 showcase with “O Fortuna” from the classical composition, “Carmina Burana.”
“It’s classical music, but we put our own choreography to it,” Ellis said.
As a bookend, the concert will close with “Jai Ho,” a high-energy Indian song from the Academy Award-winning movie, “Slumdog Millionaire.”
“I saw the movie and loved the music,” he said. “I thought that would be a great closer.”
Between “O Fortuna” and “Jai Ho,” you’ll find a medley of songs by the Beatles and Chicago. The program has room for a jazzy “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” the rockin’ “Barracuda,” a country vibe from “Wide Open Spaces” and a dip into the world of R&B with “Hallelujah, I Love Her So.”
The Structure Combo, comprised of student musicians, will provide the soundtrack.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” said Jane Alice Moore, a 17-year-old senior. “Hopefully, it will knock the roof off the Performing Arts Center.”

Team effort
Wave Connection members have been working on the show since the end of July. That’s a lot of time together, making sure all the moves and the notes are just right.
“I enjoy being with and hanging out with all the guys and girls,” said Sam Hand, 17. “They’re a bunch of cool people.”
After the concert, the group still has work to do. They’ll take a portion of the show on the road to compete against other choirs.
The competition part of the concert features “Fantasy,” “When We Are One,” “You Really Got Me,” “Hallelujah, I Love Her So,” “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” “Candyman” and “Jai Ho.”
“’Jai Ho’ is the name of the show, and it’s one of our best numbers, too,” said Kayla Jones, 17. “I think everyone feels the most confident on it. You can feel the energy.”
If you’re interested in “O Fortuna,” “Jai Ho” and everything in between, there’s room for you at the THS Performing Arts Center.
“It’s a good show to come out and enjoy,” said Will Collins, 17. “There’s a lot of fun stuff and really great music.”

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

M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal