Spring Pops Returns to MICDS

The Upper School Choirs were excited to bring back an MICDS community favorite: the annual Spring Pops Concert! This high-energy concert, a staple in the MICDS performing arts program since 2008, featured a mix of current and classic pop music, all choreographed by MICDS students.

Upper School Choir Director Dana Self said, “The thing that I love the most about the Spring Pops Concert is that it is student-driven. After we have learned the music, the students take over the process to create and teach the choreography that goes along with each song. Students are also responsible for the stage set-up and decorations, lighting and sound, program preparation, as well as a handful of other details that pop up along the way.”

The 2022 concert included The Bones by Maren Morris, You Make My Dreams Come True by Hall & Oates, Shake It Off by Taylor Swift, Love So Soft by Kelly Clarkson, Holding Out for a Hero by Bonnie Tyler, Footloose by Kenny Loggins, Shut Up and Dance by Walk the Moon, My Girl by The Temptations, Old Time Rock and Roll by Bob Seger, Black or White by Michael Jackson, Sweet Dreams Are Made of This by the Eurythmics, The Scientist by Coldplay, Dynamite by BTS, and more!

“It was great to return to the stage this year with the annual Spring Pops Concert, which has been a favorite of the MICDS community since its inception,” said Self. “We had a full house both nights, and the students can definitely feel the excitement in the audience which helps to fuel their excitement as performers. The students worked incredibly hard since mid-January to bring this concert to life through music and choreography. The challenge came from only having 14 students on stage who had actually experienced a real Spring Pops Concert in 2019 as freshmen. This was an entirely new world for the current freshmen, sophomores, and juniors. But they stepped up to the challenge and I couldn’t be more proud of the final product come concert night.”

Sasha Shanker ’22 was thrilled to return to the Spring Pops stage. She said, “The concert was a really special event considering that we had a two-year-long hiatus. Going into rehearsals, I was really nervous, especially as a choreographer because it had been a while since we learned this many songs/dances in such a short time period. Regardless, the chamber choir worked really hard and put in a lot of effort, which paid off because the concert was a huge success!”

Kate Williamson ’24 agreed. She said, “Because of COVID, my girls’ choir had never performed in the Spring Pops Concert and none of us really knew what to expect. For me, it was amazing being on stage again after so long, and I’m glad that our hard work in preparing for the concert paid off!”

Self said, “The student choreographers do a fantastic job of meeting each student where they are in their dance abilities. Some of the kids have been dancing for years, but for most, it is a very new and sometimes uncomfortable experience. I always emphasize that they shouldn’t take themselves too seriously and just get out there and have a good time. I love to run into parents after the concert and hear them say, ‘I had no idea that my son or daughter could dance! And I’m shocked that you were actually able to get them out on stage to dance, period.’ Once the concert is over and the kids have a chance to reflect upon their performance, many of them share that this concert took them out of their comfort zone, but in the end, it was one of their most enjoyable and memorable experiences of the year.”

Charlie Glass ’25 enjoyed his first experience with Spring Pops, and overcame some jitters to take the stage. He said, “I was initially very nervous because we went through so much preparation and practice, and it was my first time performing in the Spring Pops Concert. However, once I stepped onto the stage I felt the fun energy from my classmates, who were also having a great time. Both days we performed were great, but my favorite was Friday; the massive audience got us excited as we sang and danced. DSelf and the various students who helped choreograph our dances did a great job. We definitely would not have achieved this without their help. Overall I had a great time and look forward to the concert next year!”

“This year’s Spring Pop’s Concert was one of a kind as we gathered to put on a show after waiting for three years,” said Amisha Poojari ’25. “Our preparation through classes was filled with endless joy as we sang and danced our hearts away to our favorite pop songs. However, the real magical moment was when we saw the collective performance of all three choirs. We would even dance to My Girl and I Knew You Were Trouble from backstage with friends as we waited for our turn up on stage. The amount of effort put into the music, lighting, props, and ‘choralography,’ as DSelf says, definitely paid off last Thursday and Friday. But, overall, the concert was so memorable and fun and I am super excited for next year!”

Five featured soloists took to the stage at both performances, selected by a committee made up of senior choir members and Upper School faculty members. Featured soloists for the 2022 concert included Alizeh Jawaid ’23, Samantha Iken ’22, Lauren Douglas ’22, and a duet by Sebastian Ashman ’22 and Isaac Angelo Layugen ’22.

The choir seniors from the Class of 2022 were recognized at the end of the Friday night performance. Congratulations to all of our Upper School choir students on a wonderful production!

Senior Choir Students

( ) number of years in Upper School Choir

  • Annabelle Abramov ’22 (4)
  • Sebastian Ashman ’22 (4)
  • Shelly Bhagat ’22 (4)
  • Zoe Clark ’22 (1)
  • Cate Cody ’22 (4)
  • Coumba Diallo ’22 (2)
  • Lauren Douglas ’22 (4)
  • Harper Graves ’22 (4)
  • Samantha Iken ’22 (4)
  • Isaac Angelo Layugan ’22 (3)
  • Ria Patil ’22 (4)
  • Gabe Probst ’22 (4)
  • Sasha Shanker ’22 (4)
  • Cecily Taylor ’22 (4)
  • Isabel Woodard ’22 (4)
  • Ittmum Zahir ’22 (4)

Lighting and Sound

  • Ash Aranha ’23
  • Raina Compton ’23
  • A.J. Turnell ’23

Student Choreographers

  • Annabelle Abramov ’22
  • Shelly Bhagat ’22
  • Cora Bryan ’24
  • Zoe Clark ’22
  • Thisbe Diamond ’24
  • Harper Graves ’22
  • Haya Hussain ’24
  • Samantha Iken ’22
  • Noah Macam ’23
  • Sasha Shanker ’22
  • Cadence Strong ’25
  • Samantha Sullivan ’25
  • Elena Thomas ’23
  • Kate Williamson ’24

Stage Set-Up

  • Vanik Bright ’23
  • Phoebe Burgis ’23
  • Nicole Dai ’23
  • Matlynne Hardy-Lyles ’23
  • Alizeh Jawaid ’23
  • Livi Thomas ’23