There is excitement in the air. Audience members are hurriedly trying to claim seats as the music begins. The Escorts come running down the aisle preparing to whip out their traditional Hello Texas dance, as the Swing Choir comes out the side wings dressed in their flannel and cowboy boots. The first verse comes about and the audience members become transfixed by the choir and dancers, and are sucked into the annual performance.
The 31st annual Hello Texas took place Thursday February 4 through Saturday February 6. Hello Texas was created by former Choir Director and current Fine Arts Director Barry Talley in 1981. This tradition has been well loved since its creation. This year, Hello Texas went through a bit of a change. The new choir director Jason Dove has taken the helm. A lot of responsibility has come along with the position of choir director, including the well-loved Hello Texas production. “I’m excited to be a part of Deer Park history.” Dove said. And be a part of history Dove will be. He will be the only other person besides Mr. Talley to be in charge of the event. Many fans of Hello Texas had a bit of fear concerning the new leadership, but not to worry, the production was in great hands. “Things should be similar to previous years,” Dove said, “I think part of fitting into a new community and position is to understand and appreciate things before making any changes.” Any difference that was made in the show was certainly for the better. “It’s different, but different doesn’t necessarily mean bad. It’s just a different take on it,” said senior Mallory Langseth. “We are doing a longer medley, we are also going to have a dry ice machine, and lights are going to be coming down from the ceiling,” said Langseth.
This year was a complete change for Mr. Talley as well. For the first time in 31 years, Mr. Talley was able to simply enjoy the show that he created. “It will be fun to actually watch a show. I have never seen the opening number from the audience. I’m looking forward to being just an audience member,” said Barry Talley. As for the swing choir members, there was a lot of excitement with the new production. For all the new junior swing choir members a lot of nervous energy and anticipation had been built up for the show. “I am really nervous about forgetting choreography,” said Kayleigh Thomas. But despite all the anxiety, it is safe to say that there was much more excitement than nervousness within the Swing Choir members, especially the juniors who are ready to showcase their talents as the fresh blood of Swing Choir. “I am super excited. It’s something that I have worked for a while ‘Swing’ wise, and I’m excited to do it.” As for the seasoned seniors, they were looking forward to visiting the Hello Texas world again. “Honestly, I am excited for the crowd’s reactions to things. And I get to sing harmony this year, for backgrounds for people, and it’s going to be cool seeing it from the bands perspective.”
The three shows of Hello Texas were just as successful as in years past, continuing the tradition that is so well loved by Deer Parkians.