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2023 Debuts Part 3: The South Central Edition

Time to put one final wrap on 2023 before looking ahead to 2024! Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas all welcomed a handful of first-time show choirs in 2023. Here are their stories:

Southlake Carroll (TX) “The SLC”

Former Keller Central and Mitchell (among other places) director Jen Randall hopped back into the directing game in 2023, forming a show choir at Carroll High School on the north side of the Dallas metroplex in Southlake, Texas. While Southlake is primarily known as one of the best high school football teams in America, they also pull weight in Texas’ choir scene. The SLC competed at Fort Worth Southwest and Keller Central in 2023, and while they didn’t make finals at either contest, Zander Griffin nabbed a soloist award at Southwest. The SLC (and its middle school counterpart, Green Sound Machine) will return in 2024 with the same leadership. SLC is confirmed for Fort Worth Southwest and Keller Central, and is kicking around another competition on the first weekend of March. They are a group that is primed to follow in the footsteps of Fossil Ridge and break out in a big way during their sophomore season!

Tom Glenn (TX) “Dynamicz”

Glenn, located in the far-ring Austin suburb of Leander, was one of a few Austin-area choirs that made its debut at Rouse in late March. Dynamicz did not make the finals round in that competition but did nab the STAR caption award. The group is being offered as part of the vocal music department in 2023-2024, but it is up in the air if they will return to the Capital City Showcase or not.

Cedar Park (TX) “Timberwolf Show Choir”

Cedar Park, another Leander school, joined Glenn in hopping into the show choir fray at Rouse this past season. The group came away with no awards to show from the competition, but it did compete in a large 16-choir high school division. Cedar Park’s show choir is alive and well for this upcoming school year, and the Capital City Showcase is penciled in on the program’s calendar for spring, although it does not appear that Cedar Park will travel to any of the Dallas-area competitions this year.

Southwest Christian (TX) “The Songbirds”

Located less than ten minutes from Fort Worth Southwest, a major player in the Texas show choir scene, Southwest Christian took the plunge into the show choir scene this year and entered Keller Central, one of the largest show choir competitions in the country. Brianna Carroll, a graduate of Oklahoma Christian University and the University of Texas at Arlington, led the effort as director. The Songbirds entered the prep division and was not one of the top three groups in that division. Future plans for the group are unknown.

Guymon (OK) “Timbre Tantrums”

After a pandemic cancelled their planned show choir debut at Rouse in 2020, Guymon seemed set to debut at Rouse in 2022, until they withdrew from that competition. All seemed set for 2023 until Guymon was dropped from the second version of the Rouse schedule, seemingly postponing their debut even further. However, they did perform at the Duncan Show Choir Festival, held south of Oklahoma City, and the Edmond Santa Fe festival, held in the OKC metro. This group is a wildcard for the future – they could finally make it down to Rouse, or continue competing only within the state of Oklahoma.

Poteau (OK) “Show Choir”

Poteau, a town of 8,500 tucked against the Arkansas border in the central latitudes of the state, also debuted at Duncan on February 15. The 13-member ensemble competed in the third division down and nabbed a superior rating from the contest. It must have made the four-hour drive back from Duncan worth it! The group has no confirmed appearances for 2024.

Mustang (OK) “Backstage Broncos”

For a show choir state is that as underground as Oklahoma is, Mustang is probably about as big of a debut as there could have been. A gigantic suburban high school of 3,600 students on the far west side of the Oklahoma City metro, Backstage Broncos was one of the pleasantly surprising local additions to the schedule of the first annual Jenks Show Choir Invitational, held on April 1st. Although the finals at that competition was a lockout between Broken Arrow and Pleasant Hill, Mustang still came away with the People’s Choice caption at that event. Two and a half weeks later, the group competed at Edmond Memorial, going up against Enid and Duncan in the competition’s largest division. The group split captions with Enid and came home with the division championship, a great achievement for their first year! Although they have no confirmed plans for 2024, they should be a force to contend with around Oklahoma.

Denver School of the Arts (CO) “On a Side Note”

Much like Texas, Colorado is a state that has seen its state show choir competition boom in recent years. Denver SOTA is one of the newest participants in the state contest. On a Side Note garnered an Excellent Rating at the event, which was on the lower end of scores given. On a Side Note is jumping into the show choir scene with both feet forward in 2024, returning to CHSAA as well as joining Vista Ridge’s inaugural festival and competing at one of Winter Park’s weekend competitions as well.

Monument Academy (CO) “Aurum Fortissimo”

Sitting slightly closer to Colorado Springs than to Denver, Monument Academy is a private institution of about 500 students at the high school level. Aurum Fortissimo, which is Latin for “strongest gold,” joined the scene at the Colorado State Show Choir Contest, where they earned an excellent rating. Their middle school also had a show choir at the event. “Forte!,” the younger choir, also earned an excellent rating. It is unknown if Monument Academy will be making a return trip to the state show choir contest in 2024.

James Irwin Charter High School (CO) “Harmonia”

James Irwin is a public charter high school in Colorado Springs with a student enrollment of about 400. That made it a convenient candidate for the Colorado State Show Choir Festival last year, which was held at Cheyenne Mountain High School, also in Colorado Springs. Harmonia doubles as James Irwin’s top choral ensemble and ranges from a capella to concert competitions to, this year, show choir. Harmonia earned an Excellent Rating at the state festival. With a venue change to Fossil Ridge in Fort Collins for 2024, about two and a half hours from Colorado Springs, it is unknown if James Irwin will return to the competition.

Want more 2023 show choir content? Make sure to check out our first two debut review articles!

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