Railaires perform at Wichita Thunder hockey game

They have sung at pep assemblies, concerts and as of Saturday, Nov. 30, for the audience of a Wichita Thunder Hockey game- they are the Railiares. Students in the Railaires class assembled at the Intrust Bank Arena to precede the game with a rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner”.
Choir teacher Amy Ives acquired the opportunity when the Wichita Thunder corporation reached out and asked if her students would perform at the game. Ives jumped at the offer, responding with a date that all students could attend.
“One date that was open was during Thanksgiving break and most of the kids could do it, so we went ahead and did the game during Thanksgiving Break,” Ives said. “They were [excited].”
In preparation for the game, Railaire senior Sarah Fryhover said that students practiced both inside of class and during prior performances.
“We practiced the national anthem in class and had people come in to work with us on our songs, including our other arrangements, not just “The Star-Spangled Banner”,” Fryhover said. “It also helped it bit that we perform at every pep assembly so we get that practice of singing in front of an audience.”
This was the group’s first experience singing for such a large crowd. Senior Railaire Gretchen Otter said that while it was nerve-racking, performing was invigorating as a result of the crowd and atmosphere.
“They’re hockey fans, so they are a little bit more aggressive than your average fan, but it was really cool because first we got to go back into an underground area and we felt like VIPs,” Otter said. “Then we went out, sang, and we got like crazy amounts of applause. Everyone was cheering and banging on the glass and we were like ‘Okay, yeah this is pretty cool’. The atmosphere was so hyped up, I think in anticipation for the game, but it was really nice to have that kind of applause.”
Ives said that she believes the opportunity offered an experience unlike that of a typical performance.
“I think getting a chance to perform at a professional sports activity was really good for them and they got to experience that and being close to the ice and it was a different experience altogether,” Ives said.
Fryhover said that she thinks the experience will benefit them in their approaching Disney World trip.
“[It will help] especially with our upcoming trip to Disney over spring break,” Fryhover said. “We will not only be going to the park and enjoying the rides, but we will also be performing.”
Not only was this the groups first time singing in front of such a large crowd, but for multiple students, this was their first hockey game. Railaires got into the game for free in payment for their performance.
“We were watching and we were like ‘Are they allowed to fight like that? Is that how this works?’,” Otter said. “That was cool too and it was a pleasure to be there.”