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Alabama Takes Over: A Southern Show Choir Recap (Feb. 3)

This weekend featured four entertaining and tight competitions all throughout the south, and the results did not disappoint. From heavyweights duking it out at JASI, a new rivalry being brought to fruition at Enterprise, and many other noteworthy storylines, we’ll take a dive into the results from this past weekend of show choir competitions and what that means going from here on out.

 

JACKSON ACADEMY SHOW CHOIR INVITATIONAL

(@hwd_showchoirs)


            Let me just say, from the perspective of someone who was here live: What. A. Time. Even though I knew what was in store for this competition, I still wasn’t ready for what I was about to watch. Fan-favorite Tupelo started throwing the punches first in the day with their “Wednesday Addams” themed show, quickly setting the tone for the rest of the competition as other groups came on stage and gave it their all, including fellow single gender group Homewood Nexus and their “Donatella Versace” show. Grenada came in as a wildcard and quickly showed they belonged with their stellar “Ugly Duckling” performance, quickly followed by Brandon’s “Evolution of Toys” show and Homewood’s “Styles of Dance” spectacle. These five mentioned groups ended up as finalists of the night, and the final results are as follows:

 

GC) Homewood “The Network” (BV)

1RU) Brandon “Brio” (BC/Show Design)

2RU) Grenada “Visions”

3RU) Tupelo “Synergy”

4RU) Homewood “The Nexus”

1st in Super Large Mixed) Homewood “The Network”

1st in Large Mixed) Northwest Rankin “The Ambassadors”

1st in Single Gender) Tupelo “Synergy”

1st in Middle Mixed) Homewood “Continuum”

1st in Single Mixed) Pisgah “Innergy”

 

            Since I was here live, I’ll go into a bit more detail for each of the finalists. Starting off with Homewood Nexus, they lived up to their reputation as on of the top single-gender groups in the south. With impeccable vocals and a new style of choreography (I’ll talk more about that later), Nexus stood their ground as underdogs in the eyes of many. Don’t even get me started on the energy they brought with their green dress section of the show either. Wonderful stuff from Homewood’s girls group here.


            Next I’ll talk about Tupelo. As a notoriously big fan of Tupelo myself, I could not wait to see what they had ready for us this year, and by all means I was I not disappointed. Following their darker style of themes from the last couple of years, Tupelo snagged the attention of the everyone in the room and did not think about letting it go. Their lead role did a phenomenal job and their vocals were beyond amazing as always. And as a cherry on top, Tupelo pulled on the heartstrings of every young adult in the room with their “Welcome to the Black Parade” closer. I can’t put into words how much I love this group. Another amazing show from the ladies of Tupelo.


            Next up is Grenada, who like I mentioned before, came into the competition as a wild card. They didn’t let this label stay for long though, as they quickly took the stage by storm, debuting their first performance of the season. Between their powerful voices, electric choreography, and fun moments within the show (I’m looking at you, boys number and the “YEAH, PRETTY UGLY” scene) Grenada showed they were not to be messed with. This is one of those shows that you just need to watch for yourself to grasp how not only how good it was, but also how entertaining. A wonderful showing from Grenada here.


            Following Grenada would be Brandon, who came in as the general favorite to win this competition, even if it was by a razor-thin margin. They knew that coming into a competition of this magnitude after being upset the week prior, they’d need to pick up their game with this new target on their back. While they placed lower than they would have liked in preliminary results at 3rd overall, they returned in finals full force, showing everyone that Brandon was not going anywhere anytime soon. They deservingly snagged the captions of best choreography and best show design with their performance alongside a very respectable first runner-up.


             Finally, we reach the grand champions of the night, Homewood. It goes without saying that Homewood impressed everyone right away with their famous vocal prowess, but what caught everyone off guard was the style of choreography. Excuse my southern slang, but Y’ALL. This is not your mom and dad’s Homewood. For the longest time, Homewood was seen as the last truly traditional show choir in the south, but with their new directors comes new changes, and their choreography style seems to be the biggest change of them all. Yet, even with this drastic change of a long-standing aspect to their years of dominance, Homewood still found a way to win at a highly competitive and out-of-state competition. Your 2024 Jackson Academy Show Choir Invitational grand champions, Homewood “The Network”.

 

Other things worth nothing from this competition:


Small Division: Pisgah Innergy won the small division contest here with their first showing of the season. They look to continue this success next week at Northeast Jones against a full-steam Oxford and other strong in-state small mixed groups.


Northwest Rankin: At this competition, we saw something that is extremely uncommon among southern show choir competitions. That would be a single gender group beating a mixed group from their same respective schools, with The Allure here from Northwest Rankin scoring over The Ambassadors.


Grenada: Like I said earlier, Grenada is BACK and debatably better than ever with their new show. It’s worth noting that they did beat Brandon in the preliminary results, although they eventually came to an overall third place in finals. It’ll be worth keeping an eye on this group throughout the season as they look to re-establish themselves as regional powerhouses amongst the other heavyweight groups.

 

ENTERPRISE SOUTHLAND SHOW CHOIR CLASSIC

   (@omsingers)


         This competition essentially came to be a two-way bout between the regional heavyweights of Petal and Oak Mountain, with matchups in both the mixed and single gender divisions, with the chance of an upset from a couple of middle mixed groups. While Petal swept the preliminary results, the home-state team would eventually pull away at the end of the night, with Oak Mountain’s mixed group sweeping finals over the latter. Their powerful girls group also beat Petal’s own, placing third overall. Like I mentioned before, there was the chance of an upset from a middle mixed group here, and Vestavia Hills pulled off somewhat of one themselves, placing 4th overall in finals over Petal’s single gender group. With these back-and-forth results at this competition, the results from Homewood’s competition last year, and the rising tension that accompanies these two groups from frequent competition against one another, we’re starting to see a refreshingly new rivalry for the southern show choir circuit between these two heavily respected groups. Final results for this competition are as follows:

 

GC) Oak Mountain “Singers” (BV/BC/Show Design)

1RU) Petal “Soundsations”

2RU) Oak Mountain “The Muses”

3RU) Vestavia Hills “Singers”

4RU) Petal “Innovations”

1st in Large Mixed) Petal “Soundsations”

1st in Single Gender) Oak Mountain “The Muses”

1st in Middle Mixed) Vestavia Hills “Singers”

1st in Small Mixed) Sylacauga “Signature”

 

MISSISSIPPI SHOW CHOIR CONTEST

(@westjonesimagination)


            With the expected West Jones sweep showering over the upper tiers of the competition, the real story (as mentioned in previous articles) lies in the small division category, where my pick for the win (West Marion) didn’t even make the top three. Oxford came in and took their place as not only the top small division group at this competition, but also the current top small mixed group in the South. They look to defend this title next week at the competition being held at Northeast Jones, another out-of-state competition for the Alabama powerhouse. Oak Grove also made their first finals appearance in six years, placing fifth. Final results are as follows:

 

GC) West Jones “Imagination” (BV/BC/Show Design)

1RU) Biloxi “Sound Surge”

2RU) Northeast Jones “Gold Horizons”

3RU) South Jones “Company”

4RU) Oak Grove “Center Stage”

1st in Super Large Mixed) Biloxi “Sound Surge”

1st in Large Mixed) West Jones “Imagination”

1st in Middle Mixed) Northeast Jones “Gold Horizons”

1st in Small Mixed) Oxford “Sound”

 

ALBERTVILLE DIAMOND CLASSIC

 (@itsmeee_k)


           All throughout the season, we will be watching Tupelo to see if they win the first ever grand championship as a school’s stand-alone single gender group in the southern circuit history. However, Tift County made history themselves here at this competition, with their girls group not only beating their large mixed group, but also winning the grand championship over the entire competition. This marks the fourth time in recorded southern show choir history this has happened, with the last being when Pearl River Central’s girls group won the title of grand champion at the Purvis Show Choir Invitational in 2019. The final results are as below:

 

GC) Tift County “Ladies Choice” (BC/Show Design)

1RU) Tift County “8th Street Singing Company” (BV)

2RU) Hoover “Paradigm”

3RU) Jasper “Phoenix”

4RU) Tift County “Tiftosterone”

1st in Large Mixed) Tift County “8th Street Singing Company”

1st in Single Gender) Tift County “Ladies Choice”

1st in Middle Mixed) Hoover “Paradigm”

1st in Small Mixed) Prattville “Spotlight”

 

LOOKING FORWARD

            With this last weekend in the rearview, we see Alabama show choirs atop the helm everywhere among the south (except for Albertville). Next week will serve as a chance for two Mississippi choirs to avenge the state, with Biloxi competing against Auburn at Opelika and Jackson Prep competing against Homewood and Enterprise at Jasper. As for Northeast Jones, Brandon comes in as heavy favorites, while small division here will serve as a much more competitive field, between reigning Oxford and the threats of Pisgah, Laurel, and Wayne County right behind them. With all that said, good luck to all the groups next week, and happy show choir season y’all!

 

Next Week’s Events:

Northeast Jones Classic (Laurel, MS)

Jasper Foothills Show Choir Classic (Jasper, AL)

Opelika Southern Showcase (Opelika, AL)

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