Pear­son stu­dents rea­dy to shine du­ring TOPS show

11th an­nual pro­duc­tion takes im­pres­sive show­case to new heights

L'Etoile - - IN OTHER WORDS -

More than 200 stu­dents from 13 Les­ter B. Pear­son School Board high schools will shine this wee­kend du­ring the 11th an­nual TOPS Per­for­mance Edu­ca­tion show, Now We’re Here, ta­king place this Fri­day and Sa­tur­day in La­chine.

Ma­ny of the per­for­mers, who were fea­tu­red live this mor­ning on Glo­bal Te­le­vi­sion’s Mor­ning News show, come from schools in Hud­son, Saint La­zare and Ste. Anne-de-Bel­le­vue, to name a few.

Though ma­ny of the teen par­ti­ci­pants - se­con­da­ry I to se­con­da­ry IV stu­dents - will sing, dance and play mu­sic du­ring the fast pa­ced, im­pres­sive ex­tra­va­gan­za, a num­ber of others will do equal­ly im­por­tant work as back stage tech­ni­cians and crew, in the front of­fice jobs, and more.

As part of its man­date of of­fe­ring teens a chance to shine in the per­for­ming arts, each year’s TOPS show must in­cor­po­rate at least one student from the board’s 13 high schools: West­wood Sr. and Jr. schools in Hud­son and St. La­zare, Macdo­nald high in Ste. Anne-de-Bel­le­vue, St. Tho­mas in Pointe-Claire, Bea­cons­field High School, La­ke­side Aca­de­my, Beur­ling Aca­de­my, Lasalle Com­mu­ni­ty Com­pre­hen­sive High School, Pier­re­fonds Com­pre­hen­sive high, Ho­ri­zon high, John Rennie, Lins­day Place and Ri­ver­dale High School.

And not to be left out, a choir from Al­lion Ele­men­ta­ry School in Lasalle will al­so be fea­tu­red in the show.

Un­for­get­table op­por­tu­ni­ty

Ste­ven Col­pitts, LBPSB Di­rec­tor of Schools and the liai­son for the TOPS show, which the board par­tial­ly funds - the re­main­der of funds come from cor­po­rate spon­sors and ti­cket sales - says he as­ked to over­see the an­nual pro­ject be­cause he be­lieves so stron­gly in it.

“I was so­meone who lo­ved to per­form when I was in high school so I know how im­por­tant it is to give these kids a ve­nue and a chance to shine,” Col­pitts said, ad­ding his spe­cia­li­ty as a teen was more in the dra­ma­tic arts.

No­ting that the fi­nal pro­duc­tion is a pro­fes­sio­nal loo­king show in­cor­po­ra­ting po­li­shed vo­cal num­bers, com­plex dance cho­reo­gra­phy, im­pres­sive sets, state-ofthe-art ligh­ting, ef­fects and sound, as well as cos­tumes, hair and make-up, Col­pitts said it is no small un­der­ta­king.

All of the cre­dit, he ad­ded, goes to the TOPS pro­duc­tion team.

“These are young people, ma­ny who went to one of our high schools and are now ei­ther in CEGEP or uni­ver­si­ty stu­dying per­for­ming arts, so it’s young people men­to­ring young people,” he said.

Four of the six mem­bers of the pro­duc­tion team, in­clu­ding ar­tis­tic di­rec­tor Ro­bert Lynch, come from Saint La­zare.

New era

When plan­ning this year’s show, Col­pits said, the pro­duc­tion team knew they wan­ted to make their mark. “The theme of this year’s show, Now We’re Here, is a nod to the fact that last year was the tenth anniversary and that the show is an es­ta­bli­shed main event for the board, but al­so that it’s en­te­ring in­to a new phase,” he ex­plai­ned.

Stu­dents from each board high school have a chance to au­di­tion for TOPS in the fall. Those cho­sen go in­to re­hear­sals right af­ter Ch­rist­mas, de­di­ca­ting close to six hours each Sa­tur­day un­til the show pre­miers.

The TOPS 2014 shows, Now We’re Here, will take place on May 2 at 8 p.m., and May 3, at 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. at La­ke­side Aca­de­my, 5050 Sher­brooke in La­chine. Ti­ckets are still avai­lable to some shows. To or­der ti­ckets call Brown Pa­per Ti­ckets at 1-800-838-3006. Ti­ckets can al­so be pur­cha­sed in per­son at La­ke­side Aca­de­my.

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