Beth McClain is the director of the Sheridan Northern Stars and has been for the last thirteen years. Everyone in show choir will tell you that she is an amazing mentor and someone you never get tired of– even when singing, dancing, playing, or working the same show for months. But what does she think of the Northern Stars?
What do the Sheridan Northern Stars mean to you?
Fun. It means a good, fun group of kids that I love hanging out with and teaching, and its just a big part of my life. I spend a lot of time with you guys and I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t like it.
How would you describe the group?
Unique. Every person is an individual but we come together as one. I think that is what makes the show great. Not one person is alike, everybody has different strengths and different weaknesses, and we all balance each other out.
What makes the Northern Stars, the Northern Stars?
We beat the odds. We have learned to adapt and work with what we have and make it work for us. I haven’t always had the balance of girls to guys that other groups have but we’ve made it work for us and we’ve beaten groups twice our size– if not more, just by being us and doing our thing.
What do you think of the performances of last season?
I think it was unique. It was very different for us. I was nervous because we don’t use a lot of props usually, and anything can go wrong with props. So I think at every competition there was a new challenge but we overcame them. Like at Walsh Jesuit we couldn’t get the magic box off the stage but we overcame that. I thought we performed the show very well. It was one of a kind.
What do you want to take from last season and put into this coming season?
I want to keep improving on the things we need a little more work with. I think we’ve improved every year, especially in vocals, but I don’t think we’re where I want us to be. That’s the part for me that I evaluate every year and decide what can we do better, what area can we work on better, and how we can do it. I feel like we never have it one hundred percent, we always have to keep working and improving ourselves.
What kinds of things do you want to focus on this coming year?
I can’t tell you about the show! I’ll be vague. The parts of next year’s show are really gonna rely on personality on stage. I think that’s an area where sometimes we have the traditional show choir smile face, but there are parts of the show that we need to work on showing our personalities on stage and not having uniform smiles. We’re also gonna do something different with the band, we’re gonna go all electronic so that’s gonna be new and exciting.
What are your goals/hopes for this coming season?
Each year we’ve been more unified. I think as long as a group can be cohesive and work together, I feel that’s what makes a great performance. I wanna make sure we concentrate on being one big happy family.
How do you create a new show?
You always want to try to think of something that nobody else has done before– and that’s hard. But you also have to think about what your group does well, what they don’t do well, and you just have to think outside of the box. Like this year’s theme, I think I kind of saw a group do something similar– not do what we’re doing, but that’s where my idea came from. I was watching that other group and thought, we could take that and do something even better.
What kinds of people fit your view of Sheridan Northern Stars?
We love outgoing people, however, I’ve had many shy people join show choir and come out of their shells throughout the ranks and the years. I think anyone who has a passion for performing, with crew people who just want to be a part of a group like a backbone, or with band people who love music.
What would you say to people considering auditioning for the Northern Stars?
Do it. What do you have to lose? The worst case is you don’t get in the choir and you decide you want to do crew and move through the ranks that way. But I say go for it, you never know until you try it.
Do you have any advice for this coming year’s Northern Stars?
Just always keep a positive, open mind. We are going out of our usual set type, I’ll tell you that, so just keep an open mind.
More Sheridan Northern Stars
Northern Stars 2019: https://www.nlsd.k12.oh.us/
2018 Sheridan Spotlight: https://youtu.be/-QxBwow1_MM