WHAT’S CONFERENCE WEEK LIKE?
Conference week starts with registration, finding out who you’re rooming with, getting copies of all of the songs in the show, and then settling down for a workshop to help everyone get to know one another.
After all members get settled in, we hold front-line dance and solo tryouts. Tryouts are not mandatory to take part in the PII show. Everyone has there own special talent to add to our group, whether it’s singing, dancing, photography, public speaking, or backstage work that makes everyone feel welcome. You decide where you are comfortable and then “jump in!”
The next couple of days are a whirlwind. A typical conference schedule starts off with breakfast at approximately 8:00 a.m., and while the band rehearses separately, the cast learns vocal and dance pieces. Throughout the day, we also have workshops and other fun activities like swimming, games, and special events. After dinner, the entire cast gets together with the band and technical crew to rehearse the songs we have learned. This is the best part of the day because everyone is together and the show is starting to take shape.
PERFORMING AROUND THE COMMUNITY
After only a few days of rehearsing many songs, we take our show into the community. We perform at many different places, such as hospitals, retirement and nursing homes, boys and girl’s clubs, parks, and community centers. This is one of the most rewarding parts of conference week. Many times, we are performing in places where the residents do not get a chance to sing or dance, or clap there hands very often. It is an uplifting experience to bring joy to these people and just share some time together. We share our music with strangers and in return receive smiles and applause from new friends.
THE BIG NIGHT
After four/five days of continuous rehearsing, the big night is here. Thursday/Friday night of conference week, we hold our public performance to benefit our chosen charity. THIS IS WHERE WE PULL OUT ALL THE STOPS!! We all dress in stage costumes, have a full sound and lighting crew, and most importantly, give it our all.
This is what conference week has built up to. We perform on stage with people, that just a week ago were strangers, but now are like family. We sing songs that a week ago, we may have never heard, but now seem like we’ve known all our lives. We open our hearts in a way that may seem unlikely in our everyday lives.