It all started as winter break was approaching and students began asking Lip Sync advisor Jackie Haworth when auditions would be held. She had to break the bad news that the show had been canceled due to lack of funding. But the students weren’t discouraged.
“The kids usually spend the vacation practicing,” said Haworth. “Instead, they spent that time brainstorming.”
One of those students happened to work at Sawyer Motors. He noticed that his boss, owner Bob Siracusano, was a generous guy. Together with HITS President Tom Struzzieri, he donated hundreds of toys to last December’s Holiday in the Village and always donates the proceeds from the big summer car show to charity. Maybe he’d be interested in helping out with the Lip Sync?
So treasurer Earl Martin drafted a letter to request his help funding the show.
“The very next day, I got a call from Mr. Siracusano saying he would love to sponsor our show,” said Haworth.
In addition to footing the entire $1,215 budget, Sawyer Motors will help out with advertising (local media and signs) and sell tickets at the showroom.
“Their goal is to put on a fabulous show; my goal is to sell all the tickets,” said Siracusano. “I’m glad to be a part of it.”
A first round of auditions was held last week. Two more are scheduled. Haworth says around 60 groups auditioned this year, which is average.
“I was actually surprised to have so many,” she said. “I was a little worried with the late notice.”
Senior Victoria Judware says the show is essential for heightening school spirit.
“There are a lot of kids who really look forward to this every year,” said Judware, who has participated once before. “When I heard we were having it, I was so excited.”
More than a lip sync
The Lip Sync started out as just that: students impersonating their favorite artists, pretending to sing and play instruments. But recent shows have contained very little lip syncing. Now it’s more of a talent show.
“We have live music, singers, kids that put together their own choreography routines – these are real skills that they can market,” said Haworth, a business teacher. “I’d rather see them use these talents that they’ve developed. There’s no market out there for lip synchers.”
She said each year, a new crop of performers go through a transformation too.
“They go onto the stage like those fearful deer,” she said. “But, by the second night, they’re like rock stars. It’s the cutest transformation.”
Each year, judges recognize the best performers in a variety of categories. Haworth says that finding judges sometimes proves to be the most difficult part.
“I never know who to ask,” she said.
This year, Siracusano has offered provide an entire panel of judges during the performances.
“They’re being so generous,” said Haworth. “Not only are they funding the show, they are helping us every step of the way.”