4th Avenue Performs at the Children’s Hospital

Rachel Meehan, Reporter

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When you think of show choir, images of sparkly costumes, intense makeup, and bright stage lights probably come to mind. Though this particular 4th Avenue performance at the Iowa City Children’s Hospital included none of these, it will probably be the one show that the performers and audience members remember.

“When I first heard about this show, I went and watched them perform it at City High. I thought it was great, but seeing it there in the lobby, it’s really amazing,” said Kathy Whiteside, a certified child aid specialist. “I got tearful, especially during the song ‘the cure’ and then again when they did the wave. It was really cool.”

It has been made obvious throughout the 2019 show choir season that this show is very different from other show choir shows. Having a theme of the Kinnick Stadium Wave makes for a very powerful, emotional performance for both the audience and performers. For Jake Roth ‘22, this show hits close to home.

“This show means a ton to me. My little sister has cancer, so it means a lot to me and my family,” said Roth. “I’m happy to be able to do this for other people because I know what it’s like to be in the hospital.”

On February 26, show choir students left on buses from City High to perform at the Stead Family Children’s Hospital. Before going to the hospital, the group performed many shows at City High, competed in four competitions throughout the state of Iowa, and took part in two other shows at West High School and Liberty High School. Audience members throughout the season have reacted in similar ways towards the unconventional show, but one of the more powerful responses came from where their story is lived out each day.

“Our show is based on this place and these people. It’s important that we allow them to experience this show live,” said director Tyler Hagy. “This is a way for the kids to give back to their community in a profound way. For them too, to be impacted in turn, by the people that they see and the people that they meet here, the people that experience this show every day in their actual life. This way they can see and can connect what we do in rehearsals and performances with the people that it’s all about. It’s so important.”

Doctors, volunteers, nurses, families, and children of all ages gathered in the main floor lobby of the Stead Family Children’s Hospital to watch 4th Ave preform. The show is undoubtedly tied into the children’s hospital and the community. Mary Copper, who works for the University of Iowa Healthcare Department, watched the performance.

“It would be very hard to improve upon that. The talent was so apparent, they weren’t just going through the motions, they were really emotionally involved in each song,” said Copper. “I stood there thinking, some of these kids look like professionals! I felt like I was at a professional show! It was so meaningful and touching. These kids obviously care about their community.”