Ella Pratt to perform in Birmingham this December

By Jessica Vaughn
Education Editor
Posted 11/11/22

FOLEY — Foley High School senior Ella Pratt is prepping for December. She's practicing her singing. Deciding what Christmas tunes she wants to include. Creating choreography that allows her to …

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Ella Pratt to perform in Birmingham this December


FOLEY — Foley High School senior Ella Pratt is prepping for December. She's practicing her singing. Deciding what Christmas tunes she wants to include. Creating choreography that allows her to hold a microphone while she performs. And she's doing it all while getting the most out of her senior year of high school.

Come December, Pratt will head to Birmingham to perform at the Alabama Association of School Boards' Annual Winter Convention.

Her trip was won via a contest on social media. Schools across the state submitted videos of their fine arts programs. Pratt decided to submit a video where she sang "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." It was selected as one of five finalists.

Those finalists were uploaded to social media, where communities were invited to vote for their favorites. Pratt's video received nearly 1,500 votes, earning her the winning spot to perform at the Dec. 2 convention.

"I thank everyone so much for their support," Pratt said. "I really love how all my teachers got the word out there, and the community spread it all over social media to vote for me. That really meant a lot to me, and whenever an update was posted on votes it meant a lot to see how high I was on the list. It showed that a lot of people had my back and voted for me."

Journey to the convention
Pratt has been singing since she was young. Though, she said, she was nervous to sing in front of others. She performed in front of her first crowd when she was around nine years old, with her church choir.

She felt like she was on top of the world.

Still, she felt nervous at the thought of singing solo before crowds. But when she saw the Foley High School Theatre Department's spring showcase during her sophomore year, she knew she wanted to be on the stage. She signed up for theatre during her junior year, and she hasn't looked back.

"Ella was super quiet when she joined the class," Logan Lane, FHS Theatre Department director, said. "Then I heard through the grapevine that she can sing, so I asked if I could hear her sing. And I was like, 'Oh yes, you can sing.' So, she joined our Christmas show, and then she was in Godspell, and then she made it very clear that this is something that she wants to pursue."

During her junior year, Pratt performed in the FHS Theatre Department's Holly Jolly Christmas Extravaganza in front of nearly 400 audience members. She then went on to do her first musical, Godspell.

She loved the experience so much, she began auditioning for roles with Exit Stage Left, Foley's newest theatre troupe. She's since been in Exit Stage Left's productions of "Into The Woods" and "Little Shop of Horrors".

Coming up, she's performing in FHS's "Elf JR." later this year, and will be in FHS's spring musical, "Freaky Friday."

In addition to her accomplishments in theatre, Pratt, a choir student, has twice been chosen to be a member of the Alabama All-State Choir. On the tennis court, Pratt was recently named the 7A District 1 #5 Singles Champion of 2022.

In academics, Pratt is enrolled in two Advanced Placement courses, Literature and Economics & Government. She is also a member of the FCCLA.

"Ella's work ethic is impeccable, and the way she has been able to hone her talents and skills over the past year is nothing short of remarkable," Lane said. "What's even more important is the kindness Ella shows to all of those around her and the positivity with which she pursues every task set before her. I cannot wait to see what her future holds."

Future bright, name in lights
Pratt has put her nerves behind her. She wants to audition for a BFA program for musical theatre and has set her sights on either the University of Montevallo or the University of Alabama.

"I don't really have a dream role I want to perform, just one day I want to perform for a big, huge crowd," Pratt said. "I'm just going to work my way up there little by little."

Her ultimate goal? Broadway, of course. And she's already made connections when she attended the Summer Spotlight at Troy University Department of Theatre and Dance over the summer.

While she reaches for her dream, she said it's a good idea to learn about costume design, stage tech and makeup as well. As long as you never lose sight of the ultimate goal.

"Theatre makes me happy," Pratt said. "Performing, bringing joy to other people, and just seeing their faces light up in the audience. It's just very fun, a very fun community."

And what to do when those nagging nerves begin to show?

"Just go for it," she said. "It is nerve-wracking at first, but the more you perform in front of others, the less intimidating it gets. Just have fun and do what you love. Practice, be confident, and know what you're going on stage with. Believe in yourself and believe that what you're doing is going to lead you to success."

Follow Foley High School Theatre Department on Facebook for information and where you can catch Pratt's upcoming performances.

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