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Awards & Recognition

Edinboro University & Northwestern Pennsylvania High School Journalism Competition: First Place (Daniel Anthony, Opinion Category); Fifth Place (Brendan Jubulis, Sports)

Edinboro University & Northwestern Pennsylvania High School Journalism Competition: Third Place (Website)
Student Keystone Press Awards Honorable Mention (Website)

Edinboro University & Northwestern Pennsylvania High School Journalism Competition: Third Place (Website)

The show must go on: Winter Showcase review


After the December 2020 Winter Showcase was postponed, the performers had their plans cut short. The original performance combined both the dancers and the show choir from Villa, but once the shutdown over the holidays occurred, stopping all after-school activities, Mr. Alesso and Ms. Leuschen both had to either wait, or find new ways to perform.

The Winter Showcase was the perfect chance for the dancers to perform their routines to an audience. Unfortunately, the dancers weren’t able to perform it due to the three-week shutdown over the holidays. Villa Junior Anna Skinner was upset by the news because all of them had worked extremely hard over the months for their routines.  

“I was especially disappointed for the freshmen and the committed dancers who were excited to show their talents,” she said.

Mr. Alesso had planned on waiting until after the shutdown. Once everything reopened and the restrictions were lifted, he scheduled the concert for Wednesday, Jan. 27. Mr. Alesso called it a winter concert, or a Christmas review, because the original planned “Christmas surge” had gone away due to the end of the holidays. Mr. Alesso said the concert was an attempt to bring back a little bit of normalcy to Prep and Villa, and to make sure that the seniors got their last concert before they graduated.

Past winter concerts the show choir has performed have mostly consisted of choir music, but the most recent concert included solos and duets from participating Villa students along with two Prep students. In total, there were nine solos and one duet sang by the students with Mr. Alesso playing the accompaniment.

Those who participated were Josie Dufala, who is a freshman at Villa, Emily Morphy and Neveah Hudson, who are sophomores at Villa, and juniors Margaret McGovern and Aman’ye Hicks. The seniors from Villa who participated were Mallory Phillips, Devin Cross, Mallory Fischer, and Mary Grace Kelly. Anthony Nunez and Brian Lee were the two Prep seniors who participated in the concert singing solos as well. 

Brian was one of the Prep students that Mr. Alesso asked to sing in the concert. Brian said, “Yeah! I haven’t performed in forever. This is a really good opportunity to sing in public again.”

He had practiced at Villa a couple of times with Mr. Alesso, but he had mostly practiced by himself. For his solo, he sang “Driver’s License” by Olivia Rodrigo in the male key. He thought it was a pretty song and even though it’s played everywhere, it has a good message. Overall, Brian is glad to be a part of the concert and be able to see everyone else sing. 

“It’s just nice to see choral activities happening again,” he said. “It’s something I really like and appreciate and something I enjoy being a part of.”

Margaret McGovern was apart of the duet done at the concert. Alongside Mallory Phillips, they sang “Jolene” by Dolly Parton. The reason for the choice was simply that they love singing together, Margaret said. They just wanted to have fun during the concert with each other. 

“It makes me happy to sing and to sing with someone and blending voices together is absolutely amazing.”

Mallory Phillips said that she’s just excited they were still able to do the concert during COVID. 

“I’m really happy I was able to be a part of it,” she said.

Overall, the Winter Concert was a success all around. This concert was especially meaningful for the seniors. With their senior year being completely taken, they were grateful that they could at least get one more performance in before they graduated. 

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