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UNITED: Team takes third place in regional lipdub competition

by By JOHANNA KNAPIC on December 20, 2013 11:00 AM

ARMAGH — Recently, students from United had the opportunity to show their school spirit by entering the Greensburg Tribune-Review’s Lipdub contest. Nineteen schools from western Pennsylvania entered this year’s competition and United placed third, behind Seneca Valley and Gateway High School. The contest was hosted by Trib Total Media and was sponsored by Saint Vincent College and Pittsburgh Power.

Lipdub videos had to fit the criteria of being one continuous feed and student-run, and there was to be no editing or special effects. The camera followed students who were lip-syncing, also known as “dubbing,” while students representing 31 activities — various clubs, sports teams and the marching band — surrounded them.

[PHOTO: Eighth-grade students at United High School showed their respect for the school by participating in the lipdub video.  (Submitted Photos/United High School)]

United’s song was Aretha Franklin’s “Respect.” Starting at the auditorium entrance, the camera went through the orange hallway and ended in the main gymnasium. Seven days after the video was entered, voting began.

Winners were based solely on the number of votes they acquired. Anyone could register and vote. United received almost 27,000 votes in total.

Acey Gongaware, choral teacher, chose “Respect” as the song for United because “It’s not just another pop song. It had the potential to say something more about United.”

According to Gongaware, this was an excellent opportunity. “It brought the entire student body together to achieve a common goal.”

Although the main goal of the Lipdub competition was to win and, therefore, receive money for the school, Gongaware says United still won.

“Even though United did not win the contest,” she said, “we won because we worked together to accomplish the task of making an awesome video. It took everybody.”

Ben Saylor, band teacher, agreed. He added, “Last year’s winners had 20,000 votes, and we had almost 7,000 more than that.”

The layout for the video was organized by United’s women’s chorus, interested students, Gong-aware, Saylor and United’s principal, Mr. Michael Worthington.

DJ Rodkey and Joshua Roof arranged the technical aspects of the video.

The main “dubbers” were Gabriel Brown, Justin LaRock, Emily Rager, Ally Rape, Emili Spaid and Kurt Witten. The backup “dubbers” were McKinsey Capitosti, Deanna Chero, Cheyane Hillan, Jesse Isenberg, Nathan McCachren, Joey Naugle, Brett Ramer and Jason Robinson. Mascot McKenzee Miller and saxophone soloist Jacob Sigmund were also featured.

Although the contest is over, the video can still be viewed online at triblive.com. Just look for United’s video under “contests.”

[PHOTO:  United High School students, from left, Logan Marino, Dan Rich, Kevin Cawley and Ryan Schwartz prepared to play their drums for the lipdub video that recently placed third in a regional competition.  (Submitted Photos/United High School)]

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