CEDAR GROVE, NJ - Hours of perfecting dance moves, bickering over song selections, and relentless planning go into creating the best production possible, for Cedar Grove High School’s biggest fundraiser of the year -- Lip Sync.

Lip Sync is an annual fundraiser event, sponsored by CGHS’ All School Council, that features a competition between classes, where they prepare a 10-20 minute show, dancing and lip syncing to different songs. Each class begins by picking a theme in order to create a coherent group of songs, as this year, the freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors chose “When I Grow Up,” “The Purge,” “Circus,” and “Senior Year” respectively.

Usually boasting a sold-out auditorium days before the show, the fundraiser has proven to be one of CGHS’ most anticipated and successful events. This year’s Jan. 8 competition sold out three days prior to the show, bringing an enthusiastic crowd.

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Since All School Council raised an overwhelming amount of money over the past year, the council decided to increase the amount of money awarded to each class. This year first place received $600, second place received $500, third place received $400, and last place received $300. Usually, first place is awarded $400. This money is transferred into each grade’s account, which helps fund their senior prom

Nervous for the results, hosts Chris Werndly, Rachel Bucchino, and Myles Glebas were given four envelopes with their places specified on the cover. Unveiling the winner, the hosts announces the order from last to first; sophomores, freshmen, juniors, seniors.

The senior Class of 2016 left the auditorium last Friday with a back to back championship, as they also took home a victory in 2015 as juniors. They constructed a performance featuring a variety of events that happen during senior year in high school, incorporating songs to execute scenes for sports games, holiday celebrations, prom, graduation, etc.. The last few minutes of their performance showcased a mock-graduation ceremony with “Graduation” by Vitamin C, and a group dance number of High School Musical’s “We’re All in This Together.”

“I thought it was very creative; the seniors are a very multifaceted and talented group of individuals,” said Mrs. Watson, one of the senior class advisors, “I was very proud of them.”

“When we performed, the guys stepped up to help us win twice in a row,” said senior, Nikki Vassallo, referencing the help of many male participants this year, as Lip Sync usually contains an overwhelming majority of female participants.

Sharing some of her observations after participating in Lip Sync for four years, Vassallo expressed the value of comedy and a storyline existing within the performance. “The judges really like when it makes sense,” she said.

The other classes also incorporated a storyline within their performances, whether it be heading to the circus or running for your life when all crime becomes legal for 12 hours.

The junior Class of 2017 was awarded second place with their theme “Circus.” Throughout the weeks leading up to the show, murmurs of the junior Class swiping first place uttered through the halls of CGHS. Their performance consisted of different animals and characters that would be at a circus.

One performance stood out in particular, with the male participants dancing in rainbow-colored wigs and tutus. Junior, Dylan Luke explained his grade’s priority during all of their practices. “Our grade’s main focus was definitely choreography,” said Luke. “Our story was there but it was clear that we focused more on the dances, rather than a storyline.”

Expressing his opinion on his grade’s performance, “I think our grade killed it this year. This is the first time we actually were all in sync,” said Luke. The grade looks forward to placing first place at next year’s Lip Sync.

The sophomore class of 2018 left the auditorium in disbelief of their placement. Many sophomores viewed the judges’ decisions as being unfair and unjust. Their theme “The Purge,” presented one night when all crime was legal. Sophomore Karen Raum detailed, “With this theme, we needed to make sure that our costumes were good.” Sophomores limped onto the stage clothed in ripped, blood-stained shirts with destroyed makeup and rugged hair.

Raum also mentioned the importance of their plot. “The storyline was crucial, so that you could understand exactly what we were doing.”

The freshmen Class of 2019 created a significant upset when they surpassed the sophomores in points, taking third place in the competition. Their performance featured the acting out of a variety of different occupations, beginning with a classroom scene accompanied by “ABC” by Jackson 5, representing the teaching occupation.

“We tried to make the theme fun for everyone and to incorporate different kinds of music; we tried to make the dances simple and clean,” said freshman, Abby Buckworth.

Each grade exited the auditorium with more money towards their class fund. Overall, the production was a success, selling out all 799 seats days before the event. 

Rachel Bucchino and Tara Guaimano are seniors at Cedar Grove High School participating in a journalism program with TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove.  Verona and Cedar Grove High School students interested in participating in our journalism program can contact Jeanne Moreno at jmoreno@tapinto.net.

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