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Unit 5 high school musicians return to Hauntcert with another wild theme

Hauntcert flier
NCHS
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This year’s Hauntcert theme is Animal Escape. The not-so-spooky playlist will feature selections from “The Lion King” and the animated film “Sing,” among others.

Normal West and Normal Community high schools are proving there’s a lot more to music this Halloween than “The Addams Family” and “Monster Mash.”

Students from both schools will return to the stage Thursday, Oct. 28, for the 27th annual Hauntcert, a musical tradition that has endured in part because of its creative themes each year.

This year’s theme is Animal Escape. The not-so-spooky playlist will feature selections from “The Lion King” and the animated film “Sing,” among others.

“There’s an excitement around it,” said Kim Boehm, now in her first year as Normal West’s director of orchestras. “There are decorations that go into the auditorium. And it’s something the students look forward to, especially if they’ve come and seen it (earlier) while in kindergarten, first grade, second, third, or fourth grade. They can build that excitement through their junior high music program and then be a part of it in high school.”

It’s extra special, she said, to be back in person playing music together for an audience.

Boehm has wanted to be a music teacher since she was a teenager. She started playing the viola 16 years ago—or, as she likes to put it, longer than many of her students have been alive.

“Playing an instrument isn’t something you can pick up in one day and you’ll master it in a week. It takes time to build those skills,” she said. “Being in music classes builds a lot of character because you’re not going to get it in a day. It forces students to see the longer road ahead, and they can celebrate the little successes along the way. There’s a lot of perseverance that has to happen in music class,” Boehm said.

The Hauntcert takes place at both Normal West and NCHS, with two shows (6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.) on Thursday, Oct. 28. There is trick-or-treating and a Miller Park Zoo encounter before the shows.

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