Photos by Rome City Schools

The Rome High School Grand Finale and Rome Middle School Grand Illusion Show Choir teams showed up and showed out at their exhibition performance, where they presented their 2019 competition routines for a crowd of eager spectators.

Attendees packed into the over-crowded B.F. Quigg Performing Arts Center at Rome High School, sending faculty members running to grab extra chairs. Before the show, it was standing room only so all of the students were excited to take the stage in front of a packed house.

Soon after the audience was settled, members of the Grand Illusion Show Choir Team took the stage to show off their dance steps.

Rome Middle School presented their show “We’re the Kids in America” under the direction of Jessica Kennedy, beginning with Kim Wilde’s original tune. The students then transitioned into Bruno Mars’ “24K Magic,” combined with Michael Jackson’s “P.Y.T.”

Led by student Gracie Goble, the girls swarmed the stage while performing Destiny’s Child’s famous hit, “Say My Name.” The boys joined them on stage, while soloist Josh Hart began a crowd favorite, “I Want You Back” by the Backstreet Boys.

During the next song, members of Grand Illusion were able to show off their incredible dance moves, choreographed by Tara Olge and Karlee Helms. The show then transitioned into a mash-up of the songs, “Me Too” by Meghan Trainor and “Good to Be Alive” by Andy Grammer.

Lastly, the show ended by paying homage to the film, “Pitch Perfect”, as the members of Grand Illusion sang the “Bellas Finals,” led by soloists Kiara Foster and Ella McKerrocher.

After taking their bows, the members of Grand Illusion rushed off stage to join the crowd in cheering on Rome High School’s Grand Finale team.

“Our kids sold it! They did so phenomenal and we are just so proud and can’t wait to see them shine in future performances,” said Grand Illusion Director, Jessica Kennedy.

While changing the set of the stage, members of the RHS Quartet performed a classic, as they prepare themselves for the State meet in a few weeks. Christopher Nguyen, Austin Garrett, Carson Garrett and Daniel Davis performed “Hello Mary Lou,” as the crowed clapped with delight.

"It means so much to the students to see how many people came out to watch the shows. I am just so proud of the students in both Grand Finale and Grand Illusion for how well they performed!”

Next, Grand Illusion member Gabe Van Meter performed a solo, where he sang the popular tune “Hey Soul Sister” by Train, while playing the ukulele.

Next on the list was the highly awaited season premiere of Rome High School’s Grand Finale performance. RHS presented their show “Oz,” under the direction of LeAnna Fleming and Brian Sikes.

“Oz” began their jam-packed routine with a rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” led by RHS student, Kaylee Mooyoung who acted as Dorothy. The tune blended into an arrangement of the popular song “Blown Away” by Carrie Underwood before members of the team rushed on stage in bright colored costumes for the next act.

“Orange Colored Sky” by Nat King Cole was the next tune, led by soloist Juli Anna Mitchell. Members of Grand Finale danced on stage as if they were following the yellow brick road all the way to Oz.

As the symbols blared and the lights turned dim, RHS student Baleigh Morrison, who was portraying the ‘Wicked Witch of the West’ jumped on stage with her monkeys, played by Olivia Anton and Mary Drinkard, as they performed the tune “Queen of the Night.”

The Tin Man (played by Blake Lieberman), Scarecrow (played by Keith Diamond), and the Lion (played by Will Benefield) were introduced to the crowd during the song “Ease on down the Road.”

Next, the group transitioned into bright green costumes to match the Emerald City as they sang “One Short Day/ This City.”

The Wizard of Oz (played by Caleb Sabino) was then introduced as the cast sang the song “The Man.” Keeping with the dark theme, the Wicked Witch of the West found her way back to the stage to sing “Banish Your Illusion” along with soloists Kaylee Mooyoung and Will Benefield.

Glenda the Good Witch (played by Ashley Black) floated on stage to free Dorothy from Oz with the tune “Already Home,” as Kaylee Mooyoung ended the show with the song “Back Where I Belong.”

RHS Grand Finale Director, LeAnna Fleming was beyond thrilled with the outcome of the show on Friday.

“We had an out pour of support from the school and our community,” said Fleming, “and it blew my mind that we even had to bring extra chairs in for more seating! It means so much to me and to the students to see how many people came out to watch the shows. I am just so proud of the students in both Grand Finale and Grand Illusion for how well they performed!”

“It’s difficult for me that I don’t get to watch the show because I am in the back of the stage conducting the band,” continued Fleming, “but after, I did get to watch a video that was made by one of our parents. I felt that the students brought so much excitement and energy to the stage, and I could tell they all had so much fun performing our show,” smiled Fleming.

As for Grand Finale, they are looking forward to their next competition in Montgomery, Alabama this weekend, January 26.