On the stage of the performing arts center last week, choreographer Ken Romero posed a question to the group of teenagers sitting cross-legged in front of him. “Can anyone do a cartwheel?” he asked.

A shoulder to lean on — Katherine Reid and Nils Aldeborgh. — Anthony Esposito

Numerous hands shot up. After all these were the Minnesingers. They sing, they dance and, of course, they can cartwheel, too.

Mr. Romero was leading a rehearsal for the dance portion of this weekend’s spring concert which features choreography set to music from Oscar nominated and winning films. Performances are Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m.

“The range of dance experience is the thing that requires the most time when creating a dance,” Mr. Romero said. “You can’t just choreograph for the experienced dancers, you have to think about those with no experience.”

Dance performances include Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, Skyfall, Que Sera Sera and A Whole New World.

The other half of the program, An American Songbook, includes jazz, spiritual, folk, sea chantey and contemporary choral selections like Blue Skies, That Lonesome Road, Sing for Peace, Ain’a That Good News.

Tessa Whitaker ponders her next move. — Anthony Esposito

The Minnesingers just returned from a trip to Spain where they spent 10 days on a spring concert tour, performing four formal concerts in Seville, Cordoba and Granada. They also shared several informal performances with audiences at the Plaza de Espana, the Alhambra and the caves at Nerja, to name a few.

“They would come out of a restaurant and people would ask them to start singing on the street,” said Jan Wightman, the director of the group.

Sophomore Ben Nadelstein said his favorite part of the trip was impromptu a cappella performances in the parks. “We would start singing and people would stop and listen. I thought that was really cool,” he said.

A performance for school children on the first day of the trip stands out for junior Darby Patterson.

“They all said hello and asked our names, and where we were from,” she said. “When I replied America, they all went whoa! We spread out into a circle and began to sing Alleluia and all of those kids gathered around us and began to listen while holding our hands or sitting next to us. It was just so sweet. It made me proud to be American and a singer.”

Aside from learning about another culture, Ms. Wightman said that the trip abroad also gave the diverse group of students a chance to bond with one another. The Minnesingers are comprised of sophomores, juniors and seniors, and run the gamut from theatre kids to baseball players. It’s a place where love of music rises above any differences experienced in the school hallways.

Darby Patterson, Liam Weiland, and Kayla Goldman. — Anthony Esposito

“Everyone had different backgrounds, but when you come in at 6 p.m. it all kind of goes away,” said Mr. Nadelstein.

“It helps us realize that we’re all people, no matter what grades we get or sports we play or how old we are,” said Ms. Patterson. “I think we need more things like that on such a small Island.”

And camaraderie is important, as being a Minnesinger is hard work and requires a serious commitment of time, teamwork and energy. Though to see the group on stage in formation ready to practice a Fame-inspired number during rehearsal, it seems that energy is something they have plenty of.

“What shocks me is that although they talk non-stop, when the music starts they know what they’re doing and where they’re going,” said Mr. Romero. “I’m not sure how that works, but it does.”

“They never stop talking,” agreed Ms. Wightman.

Except, of course, when they are singing. Talking halted last week as the group practiced Thanks for the Memories without looking at their sheet music. “I know you can do it, you just have to take the time. I know each and every one of you can do it,” encouraged Ms. Wightman.

Minnesingers performed at the Iglesia del Salvador in Seville. — Ben Davey.

Next up was refining Diane Warren’s Grateful, a song chosen for the concert finale. Verses are split up between sophomores, juniors and seniors.

“You know that I’m grateful,
you know that I care
No time for the wrong ones,
I’ll always be there
Grateful, grateful”

It’s a fitting song for the finale, especially for the seniors as this will be their last performance as Minnesingers. After the performance, seniors will hand out roses to younger members of the group — a longstanding tradition of passing the torch.

“The rose ceremony is very emotional, it’s kind of like a final farewell,” said Ms. Patterson, who will be singing The Way You Look Tonight with Mr. Nadelstein.

“They learn so much as Minnesingers,” said Ms. Wightman. “Whether they go on to sing or not, they learn teamwork, time management and how to get along with each other.”

“Being a Minnesinger is amazing,” said Ms. Patterson. “It’s such a great pleasure to be able to sit in a room and enjoy the interesting and special aspects of music with people who feel the same way as you.”

An American Songbook and Celebrating the Oscars begins at 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 9, and 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 10. Both performances are at the Performing Arts Center at the regional high school. Tickets are $10 for adults & $7 for students & seniors, and can be purchased from any Minnesinger or at the door.