Bellissima choir adds gender neutral concert attire

Change will promote inclusivity and comfort for all choir members.


Owen Musser

Sophomore Cadence Scholz, a member of Bellissima choir, sings a solo at the Fall choir concert.

By Channing Morse, Reporter

The LHS Bellissima choir is adding a gender neutral attire option for students to wear during concerts. Bellissima choir is the all-female choir, and up until this year they didn’t have another concert option besides the standard red dress. The new attire option consists of black dress pants and a black shirt. 

“There’s a lot of options: you can use the Acapella suit pants or you can provide your own if you have really nice pants. Then it’s a black shirt and we’re trying to decide what nice red item we can get to tie it all together so it all goes nicely,” sophomore and choir member Nico Bode said. 

Choir has only changed their concert attire once before. 

“We changed dress style for A Cappella Choir and Chorale when I came to Lawrence High eleven years ago,” choir director Dwayne Dunn said. “The red dresses we use in the Bellissima Treble Choir were purchased when that choir was created in my second year.”

Regarding price, the new dresses are similar to the old ones, and the gender neutral outfits are actually cheaper for each student. These costumes were funded by the district, rather than the choir having to raise the money. But, students still played a heavy part in the choosing of these attires.  

“We created a committee of students who could look at styles and sample uniforms to make a recommendation,” Dunn said. “Once the sample uniforms came in, students on the committee were able to try them on and discuss how they fit, how they looked, how they might work with different body types.”

The choir wanted to add this option as a way to help more students feel comfortable. 

“One of our main focuses is on being a family and everyone being comfortable,” sophomore Ava Kohart said. “Having this alternative from strictly a dress is really, really important and is helping the choir to start becoming more inclusive for everyone.” 

The red dresses they used to wear in Acapella choir were discontinued, so they found a new manufacturer and decided to add another option for students. The students filled out a survey to give the directors information about who is comfortable with the change.  

“All of the new uniforms have arrived and we are in the process of sizing and altering uniforms for individual students,” Dunn said. “It is an exciting time, and I encourage everyone to come see the new uniforms.”

The choir’s GALA concert will be on November 9th, from 7 to 9pm.