Pine Whispers

Feelings of Follies

Isaac Cooper, Design Editor

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On April 5, the best talents of Reynolds will present a variety of acts to provide entertainment and uphold another long standing tradition of RJR: the Key Club’s Follies.

“It’s great to see how the legacy just continues,” AP U.S History teacher and Coordinator of Follies John Clevenger said.  “It [Follies] has been going on since the fifties.”

Along with its longevity, Follies has provided the opportunity for a myriad of talents to perform on the auditorium stage.  The evolution of acts appearing at Follies reflects the generation of the student body.

“I am really excited because… we have a very diverse group this year,” Clevenger said.

Among the acts performing this year, there is: dancing, singing, spoken word, rap and a heavy metal duo.

Follies is exciting because it is an event in which all of the student body can participate in without any junior varsity/varsity, or grade level stratifications.  Moreover, each year’s Follies holds an important memento in everyone’s experience as an RJR demon; one can only attend four Follies while a student at Reynolds. For seniors, this year will be the last Follies and for freshman, like Owen Clifford, this will be their first.

“It is kind of cool, as an art school, having a talent show but more professional… seeing people in the halls [perform],” Clifford said.

Clifford is also excited to go to Follies to experience the difference between the quality of performers in this setting and their prior middle school experience.  

“I went to the [piano and guitar] showcase and that was really cool,” Clifford said.  “It was a great time to be with friends.”

Fellow freshman Grayson Russell has also seen other Reynolds art showcases this year, which has made him excited for Follies this year.

“It is always good to have Follies and… people show off what they learn… [as well as] what their special talent is,” Russell said.

Senior Rachael Whalen resonates with Russell’s sentiment.  

“It’s a source of Reynolds pride… you bond over teachers, and jokes around the school… it [Follies] builds a sense of community,” Whalen said.

Clifford, Russell and Whalen embody the influence the novelty of Follies has had on the Reynolds student population over years.  Each year, new acts inhabit the auditorium’s stage and present a new iteration of a song, or create a space of common experience that is accessible to the entire student body.  This, the Follies Effect, has been maintained for the past 50 years at Reynolds, each time with a faculty member stepping up to coordinate the wonderful experience.

“There is a bit of pressure to make sure it done well,” Clevenger said.  “Not just for my sake, but for the students’ sake that they pour a lot of time into it [their acts.]”

With the same care and passion that has been invested for the past 70 years, the preparations for this year’s Follies reflects the timelessness of this showcase.  Follies, once again, will provide another memorable experience.

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The Student News Site of RJ Reynolds High School
Feelings of Follies