Rockwood glee club melds music, fun

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By Cindy Simpson

The pitter-patter of raindrops and wind blew through Rockwood Middle School last Wednesday.
Nobody left the doors open, and it wasn’t a real storm, but the 30-plus students’ snapping fingers, hands and pounding feet were convincing.
The school’s glee club, which was formed this fall, isn’t inspired by the hit TV show “Glee,” and members say there isn’t nearly the teenage angst that riddles the lives of the young people portrayed on the show.
The group is diverse and, from the sound of their combined voices, skilled.
“They are very talented. We have some really talented kids,” said Lisa Hill, the director.
Hill and teacher sponsor Leann Malicoat both love music and wanted to expand the offerings at the school.
“Well, No. 1, I love music. No. 2, my girls go to school here, and there is really no musical avenue for them except band and they had a (scheduling) conflict with band. And Leann come to me and asked me if we could start a glee club,” Hill said. “I was excited about it, and I want the kids to learn music.”  
Malicoat was looking for more opportunities for her son, Logan, who is interested in performing arts.
She got others involved for their musical talents, including Hill, the mother of sixth graders Lexie and Zoie, and Annette McNees, who plays piano or keyboard.
“I teach here and wanted this and thought of it and found the people that have the talent,” Malicoat said. “I wanted to offer them another opportunity in the performing arts. We hope to include a little bit of drama, have speaking parts and tap into the different talents that we’ve got.”  
Students love the vocal aspect of the club and theatrics involved.
“I just love to sing,” said Katy Cisson, an eighth-grader.
She, like many of her fellow students, does follow the popular show about a high school glee club.
“I love it, everything about it,” Cisson gushed.
Brandon Nichols, an eighth- grader, enjoys his part in things.
“I just like how we sing and we just have fun,” Nichols said.
His favorite music includes hip hop.
“I like it all, though,” he added.
The students form a circle at the beginning of the practice and begin practicing a wide variety of things, including the rain-making activity instructed by sophomore Michael Grigsby.
Grigsby is the group’s drummer and is excited to share his love of music with the students.
“Music has been my life, and they asked me to come over here and help,” Grigsby said.
The sound of rain may be incorporated into a performance, Hill tells the students.
The Rockwood club has already performed a Christmas program which focused on singing, but their next production this spring is going to include more diversity such as solos, ensembles and skits.
Much of the music they are discussing for that program will be what Hill calls Top 40 music through the ages.
“We’ll have a spring concert with lots of surprises. We’re going to do a lot of popular hits,” Hill said.
The production will include some dancing and other performance as well and is a work in progress, Malicoat said.
She said the glee club is looking for a venue for the spring concert.
Malicoat said they would be using a planned donation from Rockwood 2000 to buy materials for the group.
The club meets after school on Wednesdays each week.