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Blast 24: American Bandstand

Churchill High School's production of Blast 24: American Bandstand opens Dec. 7. Read the first installment in our series "Meet the Seniors."

It's hard to believe the annual production of Winston Churchill High School's Blast opens in less than two weeks. Blast 24: American Bandstand hits the Churchill stage Dec. 7-9 and 14-15.  

Under the inspired direction of Carlos Barillo, Blast 24 pays tribute to the vision and genious of Dick Clark. This year, a record 200 Churchill student singers, dancers, musicians, and technicians will bring this spectacular production to life.  

Over the next three weeks, the Blast 24 blog will introduce readers to a few of the seniors who will be participating in the show for the last time. These "backstage" interviews will hopefully provide our readers not only with a taste of all the hard work that goes into Blast, but what the students truly find meaningful in this experience.

Churchill singing sensation Chani Wereley has lit up Churchill's stage on numerous occasions, most recently playing the role of Vivian in last spring's production of Legally Blonde. Chani called Legally Blonde one of her "favorite Churchill memories" because she had so many close friends in the show which made the experience that much more fun. For many Churchill students, the friendships formed and strengthened during Blast and other productions are among the highlights of their high school years.

As she approaches her final Blast, Chani is already anticipating that "it will hit me on the last day" and how sad it will be to say goodbye to her Churchill theater "family."

Next week is "tech week" which Chani deems one of her favorite parts of the Blast experience. Until then, "you've seen everyone perform independently, but now you see how they all perform together in the whole unstoppable show." She added, "after all the weeks of rehearsal, you know the show is going to be OK."

As a vocal captain, Chani plays an important role in helping Mr. Barillo put the show together. In her words, "it's nice to be able to hear what I wrote performed in the show."

This year, Chani will once again tackle an amazing song when she performs Whitney Houston's Greatest Love of All. To her, the song's message lies in "finding that part within yourself that you love and accept." And while Whitney's version is "ingrained" in her head, Chani relates that Mr. Barillo "always tells us to make these songs are own," and promises a "different take" on this classic.

Anyone who has heard Chani sing will not be surprised that she plans to pursue musical theater in college next year and just this week sent off an audition tape to a top program.  

But that's next year. For now, Chani invites all Patch readers to get your tickets and come to Blast 24: American Bandstand.

Tickets can be purchased online at www.wchsarts.com.  

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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