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2024 Fort Wayne Circuit Rankings


Carroll Magic in 2024. Photo: Nathan Ensley / @nensley_photography


By Justin Ternet and A.J. Prentice, HRSC Fort Wayne contributors


Fort Wayne, known as the birthplace of show choir, has been home to some of the most seasoned group of show choirs in the state of Indiana. These groups have been in existence for almost, if not, 50 years and bring plenty of experience to the table.


What classifies a Fort Wayne show choir?

Choirs that classify as a Fort Wayne show choir are any groups in the northeast side of Indiana that regularly compete in Fort Wayne-area competitions. Some of these groups are not in the Fort Wayne city limits, but compete in the Fort Wayne circuit because it is the closest for them.


Mixed

  1. Huntington North "Varsity Singers" This show choir takes the top spot in the Fort Wayne circuit. They beat every Indiana choir they competed against, and swept nearly every Fort Wayne-area competition they attended, with a lone loss to Ohio powerhouse Findlay at the Homestead Classic Showcase. Varsity Singers did win Grand Champion at DeKalb, Churubusco, and Columbia City. They beat powerful groups like Avon, Carroll, Pendleton Heights, and Northridge throughout the season and concluded their season with winning Grand Champion at the 2024 ISSMA State Small School Finals.

  2. Carroll "Magic" Coming in a close second, Carroll's Magic had a very good season. While they failed to win any of the competitions they attended, it all came down to the other groups attending. While Carroll has a fantastic show theme, they just didn't match up to the caliber of the choirs they went up against. But they did succeed in being the only choir to steal a caption from ETC's undefeated season, taking Best Vocals at the Bishop Luers Midwest Show Choir Invitational.

  3. Northridge "Northern Lights" Despite only traveling to four competitions this year, the Northridge Northern Lights showed their excellence. After mixing it up with regional powers to start the season at Naperville North, they came back better than ever, getting second at the Columbia City Cup behind Huntington North, and then to close out their season, won Grand Champion in the Small Division at the inaugural Noblesville Indiana Show Choir Championships.

  4. Homestead "Class Royale" Homestead had yet another great season, but seemed to fall short to the top groups in Fort Wayne. They did take home a Grand Champion trophy during their doubleheader weekend, winning the Northridge Choral Invitational and defeating groups like Northrop and Churubusco.

  5. Northrop "Charisma" Having undergone a director change, all were left to wonder how Charisma would do in the 2024 season. Fifth seemed to be the place to be for Northrop, but they rarely competed in the Fort Wayne circuit. Fifth isn't bad considering the places they competed, like Franklin Central, Chesterton, and Noblesville - three competitions with some of the best choirs in the nation. But it is hard to rank them in the Fort Wayne circuit when they didn't compete in Fort Wayne often.

  6. Churubusco "New Era" Making a comeback after a rough 2023 season in which they failed to make state, Churubusco beat their rival Columbia City at all but one competition. Churubusco proved themselves this year, with multiple high placements and making them one of the best groups their size this year.

  7. Jay County "Patriot Edition" While just barely close enough to be considered a member of the Fort Wayne circuit, Jay County’s unique show design stands out in the small division. While their season is no improvement on their season last year, it’s by no means any worse. Jay County is the youngest program on the list and has fought hard to earn their legitimacy in the show choir world.

  8. DeKalb "Classic Connection" DeKalb had the longest competition schedule on this list, and they showed no weariness throughout the season. Having one off weekend on February 10, they otherwise competed from January 20 all the way to March 16. A runner-up placement to start at East Noble acted as a catalyst for their season. In the middle of the season, they won their first Grand Championship title since 2018 at the Southmont Mountie Nation Invitational. Classic Connection closed out their season with a third-place trophy at the ISSMA State Small School Finals, their first appearance after a six-year gap.

  9. Columbia City "City Heat" After a strong 2023 season, City Heat had an uncharacteristically weak season in 2024, failing to win a single division championship this year for the first time since 2019. That being said, Columbia City’s reputation as a small but mighty powerhouse in the Fort Wayne scene is far from ruined. At different points throughout the season they beat Churubusco and Jay County, groups almost twice their size.

  10. Norwell "Knight Moves" The smallest group on this list, Norwell's Knight Moves has been known for their spectacular shows and ability to defeat groups double or even triple their sizes. While the group started this season on a rough note, they came back at Chesterton and they got right back to scoring first in their respective division. While they went with a different kind of show concept, following a more character based story line, they showed no resistance to change.


Unisex

  1. Carroll "Select Sound" Coming into 2024 after a phenomenal season - Carroll beat Los Alamitos Soundtrax at the tail end of 2023 - everyone was anxious to see how Select Sound would top that. While the 2024 season didn’t bring them any Grand Champion awards, they had some impressive wins this year, beating Petal Innovations from Mississippi at Marysville and Huntington North Viking Volume at Homestead. Their show brought so much energy to the stage, and they were an easy pick for number one.


2. Huntington North "Viking Volume"

Winning Grand Champion at half of their competitions, Viking Volume brought consistent energetic performances and beautiful vocals to the stage in 2024. While it's hard to make a name in a program that also features one of the state's breakout mixed groups, Viking Volume made enough noise to be recognized for their efforts as well.


3. Northridge "Starlights"

Despite performing only half their show in exhibition to start the season at their home competition, Starlights' full show rounded out in due time and was among the best in the small division, winning small single-gender finals at Noblesville to cap off the year.


4. Norwell "Knight Stars"

Outclassing groups several times their size, Norwell has proven that size is far from everything. Save for an early-season loss to Jay County, Norwell kept a clean record against all groups below them on this list in 2024.


5. Jay County "Just Treble"

While Just Treble didn't take a Grand Championship, they consistently placed above groups much larger than them, like Homestead Elite. While they were able to get a good win against Norwell early in the year, the Barbie-themed show was unable to keep up the momentum. However, they were able to consistently stay ahead of the groups below them on the list.


6. Northrop "Allure"

Of the three large schools in the Fort Wayne area, Northrop passed Homestead for second place this season. Along with scoring well, Northrop's size is admirable for a single-gender group. This was their first year under new direction and it is a reasonable assumption to make that Allure will be coming back stronger each year.


7. Homestead "Elite"

While seventh is perhaps lower on the list than some may expect, it is much more due to the depth of the single-gender field than anything else. Elite still triumphed at Northridge in February and Churubusco in March. However, that was alongside a pair of seconds and a pair of placements outside the top three.


8. Columbia City "City Lights"

Faced with a small contingent of returning members, City Lights made a lot of progress throughout the season. Achievements included placing third at state and sweeping at Homestead. City Lights has shown its capacity for improvement and is a group to watch for next year. 


9. East Noble "Premiere Edition"

Premiere Edition had a little bit of a rocky start to the season, but the group got on the right track at Plainfield in early February. They then didn’t leave the podium until a fourth place at the Columbia City Cup in March. The ISSMA State Finals was a highlight event for East Noble. They placed second at the event, ahead of groups like Pendleton Heights and Columbia City.


10. Fairfield "Expressions"

Another group with a change of director this year, Expressions had tough competition at almost every competition. They did manage a third at DeKalb and advanced to the ISSMA State Small School Finals. This group has all the tools to make a fantastic comeback next season and is definitely a choir to keep an eye on.

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