The AHS show choir, From Start to Finish, was first runner-up, winning its very first gold medal at the New England show choir competition on Saturday, March 1. It was the closest FSTF has come to winning in the four years the choir has been together.

The choir made many changes that led to their success this year, including increasing rehearsal time, hiring a composer, and adding a new choreographer.

Choir director Mr. Mercer noted a change in the students: “This year we have put down our foot on a lot of things. We are a more serious group; attendance is definitely high on my expectation list. Everyone is here almost all the time. A lot better commitment this year than in past years.”

Mercer also gives credit to the new additions to the program. “We did bring on a new choreographer this year [and] he melted very well with our existing choreographer,” Mercer said. “We did hire a new arranger this year. He is one of the composers for Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. He has done a lot of movie work. It has been a whole different process and path we have taken, which has been better than past years.”

The group has come along way and has received a lot of recognition for their work in the past four years.  Maddie Brouillard, senior, who has been a part of FSTF from the first year, said, “This year we are a much more dedicated group. We have had new people come in and we are all very hard working. We also increased our rehearsal time to six hours a week. We are seeing each other a lot more and [have] a lot more dedication as well. The new choreographer has had a huge impact; he really knows what he is doing and he’s very experienced. We focus when we are supposed to focus and the respect for Mercer and each other is really great.”

Eriq Gassé, freshman, noted, “It was kind of surprising to see how good we are this year; it means a lot to me, but even more for the seniors.”

The choir, in addition to changing expectations and adding the new choreographer and composer, is hosting their very own festival, the New England Show Choir Showdown, on Saturday, March 21. AHS will be hosting 19 local and international show choirs.

FSTF is also going to compete at a national competition in Orlando, Fla., in early April against the top show choirs from across the country. The female show choir last year placed second and advanced to FAME Nationals, where they placed 11th.

By Anamika Bhattacharjee