August 30, 2021 - Once a year teachers and school staff members from across Comal ISD are treated to a special student performance that kicks off the school year. For many in the audience, the talented musicians, dancers and actors are former students they haven't seen in years.
This performance takes place during the district’s convocation or annual ‘pep rallies’ for employees and is considered the highlight of the day. This year was no exception with students from every high school represented in the ensemble cast based around The Greatest Showman’s featured song, “A Million Dreams.”
Featuring a young boy heading to school for the first time, the production highlights the progression a student takes from kinder through graduation with some help from teachers along the way to realize his dreams. Together, this group of 40 students spent 190 hours creating and practicing for this production which they performed seven times over the course of six days.
The Canyon Lake High School Emerald Dancer, Dance Officer Line including, Captain Karley Long, a senior; Co-Captain Jenny Ramos, a senior; Lieutenant Cheyenne Guillory, a sophomore; and Lieutenant Lily Doepke, a sophomore, began choreographing the dance for the production in July. Dance teacher and director Kara Jenkins and Assistant Director Sarah Grudle supported the team.
Students in the Smithson Valley High School theatre department created, designed and built the set for the show. They also served as stagehands and technical support for lighting and sound. This team included senior Tytus Gonzalez; juniors Emma Kern, Tatum Tomallo, Emma Derr, Morgan Miller and Aidenne Despres; and sophomore Rowen Hamilton. Both James Black, the technical theatre director at SVHS, and Casey O’Bryant, the artistic director at SVHS, supported these students.
Five members of the Davenport High School Color Guard team, under the direction of Kim Booher, also performed. Those members included junior students Brisa Pena and Lindsey Griffin as well as sophomore students Angel Vierra, Kyley Kay and Ava Guerra. The DHS director of bands is Jeffrey Keyes.
Members of the Canyon High School Orchestra performed as well with the CHS orchestra director Manuel Arambula composing the strings part of the production. Orchestra students included seniors Myah Lara, Logan Schrantz and Kaylie Weeks and freshmen Allyson Wiatrek, Andrea Fuentes and Marc Mora.
One of the final pieces to the production was the Pieper Ranch Middle School choir under the direction of Elizabeth James, the PRMS choir director who also played the role of “the teacher,” in the show. The 16-member choir featured students from sixth through tenth grade and featured a solo by Asa Toalson, a seventh-grade student, and Carson Laubach, an eighth-grade student.
The choir included sixth-grade students, Olivia Hyman, Avery Kale and Gabriella Villarreal; seventh-grade students, Rolando Flores, Lauren Lake, Toalson and Shelby Wells; eighth-grade students, Laubach, Dayna Martin and Caroline Penrod; ninth-grade students, Ella Hamblin, Ava Sennie, Lauren Anderson and Andrea Munoz; and 10th-grade students, Gabriella Botello and Ariana Hughes.
The final piece of the ensemble cast featured Carson Uptain, a second-grade student at Garden Ridge Elementary School, who played the young boy getting ready for school.
The district’s Director of Fine Arts Carla Schumann coordinated, organized and supported each of these groups as well.
In addition to this special production, teachers and staff were treated to each high school’s ROTC color guard with presentation of the colors, cheer team, choir and band.
-Canyon Lake High School Emerald Dance team officers pictured from left are Karley Long, Lily Dopke, Cheyenne Guillory and Jenny Ramos.
-Members of the Smithson Valley High School theatre department who participated in the convocation production are pictured along with production staff.
-Davenport High School Color Guard members pictured in back from left are Brisa Pena, Angel Vierra and Lindsey Griffin; front row, Kyley Kay and Ava Guerra.
-Canyon High School Orchestra members pictured from left are Allyson Wiatrek, Myah Lara, Logan Schrantz, Andrea Fuentes, Marc Mora and Kaylie Weeks.
-Pieper Ranch Middle School Choir members pictured back row from left are Olivia Hyman, Andrea Munoz, Lauren Anderson, Caroline Penrod, Dayna Martin, Shelby Wells, Ava Sennie and Ella Hamblin; front row from left, Gabriella Villarreal, Ariana Hughes, Gabriella Botello, Carson Laubach, Lauren Lake, Rolando Flores, Avery Kale, Asa Toalson
-Carson Uptain, a second-grade student at Garden Ridge Elementary, played a part in the convocation performance.