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2024 Show Choir Nationals Preview

Show Choir Nationals has good years, great years and insane years. While this may not be the most stacked lineup in Nationals history, it's still a great lineup with plenty of stories to tell! Each and every group will hit the Grand Ole Opry stage between Thursday and Saturday to take the truest form of a 'national championship' available today in the world of show choir. Here are their stories.


Mixed Groups

Illinois - Ella Gosain

Glenwood Titan Fever

Glenwood is headed to Nationals with three second-place finishes, one third-place and two fifth-place finals placements. In a mostly Illinois-based competition season, they have been bested by some of the top Illinois groups. However, as they roll into their seventh competition, their show has been well-perfected over the past three months. With three runner-up finishes under their belt, Titan Fever is hungry for a grand champion trophy. Tough competition is ahead, but this small and mighty group is ready to snatch up a spot in Saturday finals. Although Titan Fever may not have had the season they hoped for, they are coming in hot as the sole group representing Illinois at this year’s Nationals.


Indiana - Nathan Ensley/Will Kaiser

BEAT Amplitude

This small group packs a punch. Compromised of less than 20 performers, the group makes up for it with intense dancing and powerful vocals. BEAT outplaced Center Grove’s prep group earlier this year and could surprise some people when they take the stage on Friday. While a longshot to make it into finals, BEAT’s first nationals trip should be an exciting one for this young program.


Brownsburg Spotlight Singers & Co.

Brownsburg was the last Indiana group to start the season, and they came out on fire, snatching best vocals from a Zionsville group that has done well throughout the season. Since then, they grabbed their first grand championship at the Avon Vocal Invitational, again taking vocals over several strong Indiana groups. Their show is exciting from end to end, packed with superb vocals, lots of full-group choreography, and several impressive stunts that hook the audience into their emotional story. Ahead of Nationals, Brownsburg took an off week to focus on bringing their best performance in their first national competition since 2019. They have an excellent opportunity to make themselves a national brand and show the power of Indy's deep field. 


Center Grove Sound System

Sound System is the top dog in Indy this season and gets to prove without a doubt that the best in Indy should be in the conversation for best in the country any given year. They have gone undefeated up to this point, genuinely running the gauntlet this season, with their last three competitions all having statement wins. They took the win against national powerhouse Carmel, who had previously run the Indiana circuit. If that doesn't make a statement, they gained even more national attention by defeating Los Alamitos Sound FX, a national powerhouse. They then won against the winners of HOA Nashville, Franklin Central, at Noblesville. They are truly chasing history, and the Opry stage would be a fitting space to finish their undefeated season as a genuinely historic group and be the first Indy group to secure the national title since North Central in 2018. 


Noblesville NHS Singers

Noblesville were the first Indiana groups to begin their season at Beavercreek and will be entering one of the last competitions of the year at Nationals on a month-long competition break. Noblesville is sticking by their tried-and-true method of a theme of romance, but this season they introduce a creative twist to the formula. The show is themed around Back to the Future, which has allowed them to bring a healthy dose of humor to their show, along with the deeper story of love and loss, which makes their ballad hit even harder as the serious tone is a shift from the set. Last week, the power of this was on full display at their home exhibition as they left the crowd sobbing; they will look to convey similar emotions on Friday night to propel themselves to the top of the scoresheets. While they were just left out of finals in their last trip to Show Choir Nationals in 2018, this year’s group is coming in with two grand championships and should have a well deserved chance of breaking into finals.


Iowa - William Soquet

Cedar Rapids Kennedy Happiness, Inc.

Happiness isn’t the Iowa institution that it once was, but the Storm Ziegler-led outfit is still a group that should not be counted out for a potential finals berth here. The group ended its regular season by sweeping at Cedar Rapids Jefferson on March 2. While Kennedy did not place in its last trip to nationals, 2022, the fact remains that Ziegler is the man who led them to the Nationals title in 2012 and has been named Outstanding Director before. In a year filled with discussion about Indiana and the South, Iowa’s lone representative may just sneak in and grab a spot in Saturday’s performance.


Ohio - Simon Zimmerman

Fairfield Choraliers

Since Mark Mercer left Fairfield in 2021, they haven’t seen quite the same success as they were used to under Jeff Clark, Sam Chenoweth, and Mark Mercer. Still, they remain a good group, having a fun show themed to family bands this year. They have two podium finishes to their name this season (at Olentangy and Ross), but came in fourth in tough fields at Homestead and South Dearborn. They’ve been beaten throughout the season by groups like Findlay, Zionsville, Loveland, Homewood, Hurricane, and ETC. They will have enough on their plate attempting to make finals at this competition - but if they remain true to their history as one of Ohio’s best, they should be able to snag that last slot. 


Findlay First Edition

Findlay is something of an enigma in Ohio. Last year, they had an incredibly successful season, beating everyone they went up against before finishing third at Show Choir Nationals, but they haven’t quite repeated that success this season. Though they started off their season with a sweep at Homestead, they followed that up by getting swept by Solon, a close loss to Marysville, and finally coming in third behind Piqua and Grove City in one of the strangest competitions Ohio has ever seen. Still, they have finished no lower than third this season, and ultimately they still are a successful group. They should be able to make finals here, but it remains to be seen whether they can place on the podium. 


South - Tony Holeman

Grenada Visions

The breakout group of the south this season, Grenada enters Nationals with a full head of steam. They’ve split the season with Brandon this year and beaten other groups like Tupelo and Auburn convincingly, and they look to top another southern powerhouse in that of Oak Mountain as they have their first matchup of the season here. Their “Ugly Duckling” show is full of energy and ready to compete against groups from across the nation as Grenada is generally considered a favorite to make finals here, with some having them as high as second overall.


Jackson Academy Encore

After starting out the season in high fashion with a grand championship over Brandon, Jackson Academy has had a less-than-wanted last few weeks. After the aforementioned result, Jackson Academy has placed third and fourth overall behind the likes of Grenada (twice), Tupelo, Auburn, and Northwest Rankin. However, Jackson Academy can prove that their results are just a result of high levels of competition in the south if they can place over other groups from different regions.


Oak Mountain Singers

Oak Mountain is coming to the end of a very successful year. Having both beaten Petal and gotten close to the likes of Clinton and Brandon, Oak Mountain enters Nationals as a potential (and debatably probable) finalist. As mentioned before, they will also have their first matchup against the likes of fellow southern group Grenada here. Don’t be surprised if Oak Mountain not only finishes high at this competition, but maybe even in that second or third overall spot.


Virginia - William Soquet

Manchester Capital Swing

In a Virginia scene that is relatively isolated from the rest of the country and few choirs have name recognition outside the state, Manchester has been about as constant of a good group as there has been. Are they on Cosby’s level this year? No. Can they beat just about anybody else in the state? Yes, absolutely. Capital Swing already has wins at Clover Hill and Hanover this year, entrenching themselves as one of the best in the region. A finals bid may be a long shot for them, but they’ll represent the Eastern Seaboard well.


Womens

Indiana - Nathan Ensley/Will Kaiser

Brownsburg Starlight Voices

Starlight Voices comes into nationals with one grand championship under their belt after three competitions in the challenging Indianapolis single-gender circuit. Their show is a fun adaptation of the 1950s sitcom, “I Love Lucy,” that follows the story of Lucy trying to get on her husband Ricky’s show. They have placed consistently well and because of a strong local scene, this will likely not be their toughest competition of the season. This group looks their best in several years and will be ready to take the stage with energy after taking a break from competition last weekend.


Center Grove Debtones

Debtones are rolling into Nationals with some momentum after defeating local rival Franklin Central High Voltage last week behind a brilliant vocal and visual performance. This group’s vocals are some of the best in the single-gender division, filling entire auditoriums with their sound. Besides vocals, this group brings some of the best soloists in the nation and are a very solid visual group, although they dropped both captions at Wheaton Warrenville South. They have yet to lose to anyone outside of Indiana, so they will hope to continue that streak and make another statement towards the strength of the Indy circut. Debtones has won their past two national appearances at Heart of America events in the past two years, and it will be difficult to see them fall any lower than the second spot.


Noblesville New Dimension

New Dimension enters the Nationals with one grand championship over some weaker Indiana single-gender competition. This group could make some noise with their wonderful usage of fans that highlights this group’s intensity. While they were outplaced by both Center Grove and Brownsburg earlier this season, some changes in recent weeks could draw them closer to those groups.


Ohio - Simon Zimmerman

Fairfield Pure Elegance

Fairfield’s women have had an incredibly successful season. The only single-gender groups that have beaten them are Zionsville’s women (who notably have been on a tear this year) and ETC’s women, perennially the best womens group in Ohio. Other than that, they’ve beaten all the other single-gender groups that they’ve come up against, which includes a win in single-gender at Homestead and two overall finals placements at Ross and South Dearborn. They’ll look to have a good finish at Show Choir Nationals, in keeping with their heritage as one of Ohio’s premier womens groups. 


South - Tony Holeman

Oak Mountain The Muses

Having only not finished first in their division once this entire season (that time being second to Brandon’s girls group), Oak Mountain is generally considered by many to finish near the top spot or two in the single gender division. The only question mark that arises is the level of competition they’ve competed against this season, as wins over Petal’s girls group and middle-division powerhouse Vestavia Hills have been their highest marks of the season. However, Oak Mountain’s girls group certainly precedes their reputation and won’t expect anything less than a high finish.


Virginia - William Soquet

Manchester Touch of Swing

Touch of Swing has a distinct advantage compared to several other groups in the field. It doesn’t come from a region where only a fraction of programs have a womens group - it comes from a region where not having a womens group is the exception to the rule. The competition is tough, but they’re pretty well battle-tested. Save for Cosby and Douglas S. Freeman, they’ve been gold everywhere. Competing against a collective treasure trove of groups in the division is never easy, but Touch of Swing is just as much of a gem in this division as anybody else.


All eighteen of these groups, plus Fairfield Middle School Rhythm Express, will take the stage to give their best shot at closing the season out right. We don't know how it will all shake out, but when it does, we will have all the review content you need.


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