SPRING HILL — Risers were in place on the shiny, varnished wooden floor, the big room smelling exactly the way a gymnasium is expected to smell. Parents and their children filed into the bleachers for another new year open house.
This one, though, promised to begin with a special touch as students in matching black and red shirts lined up on the risers.
With school in session only nine days at the time of the open house, the choruses were already going to perform, and not just singing. There would be dancing, too.
David Pletincks, Powell Middle School's chorus director, prepared his advanced girls chorus, the boys chorus and the music theater group to greet parents. Band instructor Kyle Huston and dance instructor Serena Young worked tirelessly as well to get their budding artists ready for the big performance.
The chorus of about 80 students began with the national anthem. That was followed by a choreographed salsa number that included about 50 dancers in red shirts stretched across the floor. There were also about 10 percussionists.
Pletincks wanted to start off the 2011-12 school year with a bang. Literally. To end the production, a confetti cannon shot streamers and paper bits into the air, which showered on the singers and dancers. The whole package wowed the audience.
"It was awesome," said parent Maria Smith, at the open house with her daughter, sixth-grader Karina Smith.
Parent James Swetokos had a similar reaction. "I was impressed with it," he said. "I didn't expect all that."
His son, Kyle Swetokos, a sixth-grader, really liked the confetti. "He's only been here nine days and he loves school," Kyle's father said.
"This school just impresses me with how organized it is," said Tracy Swetokos, Kyle's mother.
Pletincks said the preparation began on the second day of school. It took three days for the students to learn the music and the rest of the time was spent learning the choreography. The singers were dancing in place right along with the dancers out in front.
"We spent eight days on it," Pletincks said.
And with streamers hanging from the rafters, the parents moved on to meet their children's teachers.