Nova Finishes First at Manteno


Adam Safi, Staff Reporter

       Alan B. Shepard high school has a plethora of different clubs and sports to be apart of. One of the most recognized clubs being NOVA. NOVA is the Contest Show Choir for Shepard whom represent ABS at show choir contests throughout Illinois and other states in the Midwest.


       If you are unfamiliar with the concept NOVA is a performance ensemble made up of singer/dancers, an instrumental combo and (frequently) a crew.  Show choirs perform a wide variety of musical and choreographic styles ranging from musical theatre to pop, rock, country and even occasionally including elements of classical music.  Primarily though their shows are high energy sets (anywhere from 15 – 18 minutes in length total) that feature the group singing and dancing accompanied by the combo with the crew responsible for anything from costumes to set pieces, props and sometimes even lighting effects.


       NOVA recently won the Grand Championship at the Manteno Invite, coming in first place as a whole along with some soloist first place finishes to add to the impressive day. However this is the first Grand Championship in some time. The last win came years ago at the Grand Champion of the Festival Class at the Chicagoland Showcase and Grand Champion of the Open Class at Manteno once before, but it has been quite a few years.  We have consistently been among the finalists (top 5-6 groups) in many, many contests over the past several years however.


       Much recognition for this accomplishment goes to director Michael Fallon, who is in his final year at Shepard, also by the teams leaders such as seniors; Elizabeth Jeeninga, Kaitlyn Shelton and AJ Kitzmiller, as well as, junior Judi Levine.

       The Manteno Championship was a big win for NOVA, and it came as a surprise to most on the team. The night before the contest over half the team was at a Jazz band dinner dance and were completely exhausted going into the competition as well as wardrobe changes that were thought to cause some more damage to the already tired team.


       Junior leader Judi Levine described her experience as nerve wrecking because of the new clothing challenges as well as being one of the teammates who was previously at the Jazz dinner dance. Levine is worried about NOVA’s future with Fallon leaving, but she is staying positive saying herself and others will fight to make sure there will be a team come next year.


       After the suspense ended for the team, other Shepard hardware went to Alan Krolakowski who won Best Male Solo, Rachel Lappano won the Female Championship solo award, and Lucas Lowry who won the Male Championship solo award also.


       Senior standout Lucas Lowry who won a soloist award, recalled the experience “The win felt amazing and it had been something I dreamed about. It came with a lot of hard work however as he practiced the same song for months  trying to get it perfect.


       All the credit being given by members of NOVA are going straight to Fallon, the director of NOVA, who has been an inspiration to many of his students, Lowry went on to say that Fallon has done such an amazing job of teaching students and making them really good musicians.


       Fallon, who has been directing NOVA and other forms of show choir for the last twenty years is finally calling it a career after much success here at, Shepard. Fallon said “The win felt great it was a cherry on top to my career”.