The Rocket Flame

Roses Are Red, Violets Are Blue, I’d Like To Go To Prom With You


What do marriages and proms have in common? Proposals! Or rather, “promposals” for high school juniors and seniors.

Writing out your ideas can help you eliminate ones you don’t like as much.

Couples and friends use promposals to ask each other to prom. If you don’t have your prom date yet, here are a few tips from students that have already “promposed” to their dates.

“To plan my promposal, I just sort of talked to my friends,” said Dylan Poffenberger (11). “I asked them what they thought I should do.”

Dylan Poffenberger (11) uses a letter to ask Allison Collings (12) to prom.

It doesn’t have to be just up to you. Use other friends as a resource to help come up with ideas. When brainstorming a way to ask his date to prom, Poffenberger and his friends came up with a promposal using the song “Please, Mr. Postman” by the Marvelettes.

“I used a satchel,” Poffenberger said, acting as the postman who brought a letter that asked his date to prom. “I had to borrow it from one of my friends.”

In addition to asking friends for ideas, it pays to ask friends to help with the promposal itself. Poffenberger borrowed a mail satchel from a friend, and Jackie Wagaman (12) got some help from the clarinet section when she asked Michael Newman (12) to prom.

“Michael hinted that we should go to prom together, but the elephant in the room was the promposal,” said Wagaman. “So, being the non-traditional lady that I am, I promposed to him, because I’m a giving person and I like planning things like that for my friends.”

Wagaman gifted Newman a bag of coffee in the promposal, as she knew that Newman liked to drink coffee. Poffenberger knew that his date, Allison Collings (12), also liked cuties oranges, so he got her a bag to go along with his promposal.

Ashley Alfree (9), Kennedy Sauders (9), Sadie Garbinski (9), and Hailey Embree (10) spell out “Prom” for Jackie Wagaman (12) as she asks Michael Newman (12) to prom.

“Make sure that [your promposal] is cute and the person that you’re asking will like it,” Poffenberger said.

Making sure that your date will like their promposal is one of the most important parts, as well as making sure that it’s sincere. Poffenberger also advised having the promposal be something that’s special to the person that you’re asking. The promposal doesn’t have to be one that’s in the middle of the cafeteria during lunch, with balloons and posters. It can be simple and straightforward, as simple as just writing “prom?” on a cup of coffee.

“Sometimes, less is best,” Wagaman said. “Focus on the moment and the person.”

Wagaman also said that by making the moment special and memorable for your date, it will make it memorable for you in turn.

Nick Alfree (11) utilizes a flag to ask his date to prom at the Indoor Color Guard championships.

“I would say just make sure you think about it, but don’t think about it too much,” said Poffenberger.

The basic tips of planning a promposal? Brainstorm with your friends; put your heads together because you’ll be bound to get an idea that works. Make sure that it’s special and memorable for the person you want to ask, and then it’ll be special for you as well. Prompose to them in a way that they’ll appreciate. You don’t want to embarrass them by having a large, public promposal planned if they’d rather have something small and quiet. Finally, don’t stress if it doesn’t turn out perfect; it’s the little quirks and flaws that make moments memorable.


Go See She Loves Me This Weekend!


Hannah Zomak

Emily Palmerchuck in She Loves Me

Warm Music for the Cold Weather

The James Buchanan High School Chorus make preparations for their upcoming Christmas Concert.

The James Buchanan High School Chorus warming up for rehearsal.

Christmas is one of the busiest seasons of the year, and it does not stop for the James Buchanan Chorus members. A lot is happening for the Chorus this time of year, which kicked off with District Chorus Auditions at the end of October, then to a trip to the American Music Theatre, and lastly the annual Christmas Concert in December.


Mr. Eric Poe (Faculty), requires junior and senior Messa Voce members to audition for District Chorus. Pennsylvania is split up into twelve different districts, and auditions are held for any high school student who would like to try out. Judges then rate each student’s audition, and if the singer’s performance is satisfactory, they will then be inducted into the District Chorus. He also makes it optional for tenth grade members of Messa Voce to audition if they feel prepared.

The Chorus taking a look at their parts in “Ding-a-Dinga-a Ding.”

“Districts is a great learning experience for students,” Poe stated. “Preparing the audition is a lot of hard work. It prepares them for future experiences when learning how to practice in advance.”


Poe gives the required students the music they have to sing in May of the previous school year. They have about five months to prepare their audition. The audition consists of two songs, one that is accompanied, meaning a pianist performs the piece with the singer, and the other song is acapella, where the performer sings with no instruments. They are scored on these two songs out of 450. The singers are scored on five categories, rhythm, intonation, interpretation, technique, and tone with each section worth fifteen points. If you are in the top 25 of auditioners, you make it into District Chorus.


Logan Williams (11) and Patrick Hicks (10) had a very impressive audition: they tied for place 26, only one spot away from making it into the District Chorus. Poe has the ability to send one student to the District Chorus concert as a representative of James Buchanan High School, and he usually chooses the highest scoring member; this year Williams will be representing the school in the District Chorus Concert.

There was not much time to celebrate after the auditions; the Chorus then had to begin preparing for their trip on Nov 15.


Many of the students in chorus went on the trip to the American Music Theater in Lancaster where we sang carols then watched their annual Christmas show,” Chorus member, Korina Williams (12) said.


Prior to the show the Chorus, directed by Poe, performed their carols for the audience.


“We sang Christmas carols in the rotunda as people got their drinks, refreshments, and found their seats,” Jackie Wagaman (11) said.


The chorus is now in full swing into preparing for their upcoming Christmas Concert on Dec, 17 at 3:00 p.m. They have spent a lot of time preparing a wide variety of genres and songs, including Vivaldi’s “Gloria,” “Christmas in de Tropics,” “Winter Song,” “The Twelve Groovy Days of Christmas,” “Ding-a Dinga-a Ding,” “Hallelujah Chorus,” and “We Need A Little Christmas.”


The James Buchanan High School Chorus is rehearsing a piece they will be singing at the Christmas Concert.

There are several featured soloists within these songs as well.  In Vivaldi’s Gloria Chelsea Wareham (11), Korina Williams (12), Lauren Fleming (12) will be performing solos. Kayla Myers (12) and Kierstyn Martin (12) also have a duet. Jackie Wagaman (11), Jacob Troupe (10), and Olivia Harmon (11) have also been given solos in Christmas in de Tropics. Sierra Suffecool (12) and Ella Heckman (10) also were just recently rewarded solos in Winter Song.


Learning and perfecting several different songs can be very demanding for the chorus. Some of the songs even have different languages within: Vivaldi’s “Gloria” is completely in Latin.


The most difficult part of preparing for the concert is Vivaldi’s ‘Gloria,’” Williams said.  “There are twelve movements all in Latin, and the music is intermediate to advanced.”


It is not just the difficulty of a song that the students struggle with, but also musical factors like tone, dialect, rhythm, and their own musicality.  For another Chorus member, Wagaman faces different obstacles in the music.


“I have to say personally for me it’s rhythm,” Wagaman said. “You can have the sweetest voice, you can have the best dictation of your pronunciations, but if you do not feel the music, what’s the point?”


The songs are not just difficult but also very enjoyable for the students to sing.

At rehearsal Luke Spurgeon is accompanying the Chorus while singing “Ding-a Dinga-a Ding.”

“The most enjoyable song is most likely “Ding-a Ding-a Ding” because it is fast paced and very fun,” William’s states.  


Lots of preparations have been being made to perfect the Christmas Concert. From District Chorus auditions strengthening musical techniques, to performing carols, all of this gets the chorus into the Christmas spirit for their upcoming concert.

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