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Comps of the Week: 1/13/24

A sparkling weekend of show choir competition has been somewhat derailed by snow. COTW, however, will still power on as a mix of what will be and what could have been! All information is current as of noon Eastern on Friday.

Gretna Primetime

The Lineup (all groups from Nebraska unless noted)

Mixed: Elkhorn South “Blackout”, Johnston “Innovation” (IA), Lewis Central “Corporation” (IA), Lincoln Southwest “Resonance”, Millard North “Infinity”, Papillion-La Vista South “Titanium”

Womens: Elkhorn South “Shockwave”, Johnston “Bella Voce” (IA), Lewis Central “Company” (IA), Marian “Momentum”, Millard North “Illumination”, Papillion-La Vista South “Titan Radiance”

Prep: Elkhorn South “Power Surge”, Johnston “Synergy” (IA), Lincoln Southwest “Ambience”, Millard North “Intensity”, Millard West “Swing Cats”, Papillion-La Vista South “Titan Express”

Middle School Advanced: Andersen "Luminescence", Beadle "Show Dogs", Elkhorn "Classics", Liberty "Flight", Millard North "Stampede", Russell "Leaders of the Pack", Westside "Westside Connection"

Middle School Prep: Beadle "Encore", Russell "Subwoofers"

Johnston was unstoppable last year, going undefeated throughout the course of 2023. This year, they swap UNL for Gretna as their Nebraska trip. They’ll run into Papio South, who won the event last year and finished no lower than second all year in 2023. Behind them, Lincoln Southwest is a choir that one can never count out heading into a new season, even if they weren’t the top show choir in Lincoln last season. Millard North was fourth at this event last year and will look to replicate similar success here. Elkhorn South comes in as a little bit of an undercard, but they can’t be counted out as they also broke into the win column last year. Before publishing time, Grand Island dropped out and Lewis Central came over from Sioux Falls Jefferson. Corporation was sixth at this event last year, and will need to stave off several capable prep and womens groups in order to make finals once again.

Linn-Mar Supernova

The Lineup (all groups from Iowa)

Mixed: Cedar Rapids Jefferson “West Side Delegation”, Cedar Rapids Kennedy “Happiness, Inc.”, Cedar Rapids Washington “Momentum”, Iowa City “4th Avenue Jazz Company”, Prairie “The Ambassadors”, Western Dubuque “5th Avenue”

Womens: Cedar Rapids Jefferson “Ovation”, Iowa City “Charisma”

Prep: Cedar Rapids Kennedy “Protégé”, Cedar Rapids Washington “Celebration”, Prairie “Focal Point”

While not the largest competition out there, Linn-Mar falls into a similar vein as Gretna, attracting only top programs. Before the snow was scheduled to hit, it was going to be an even better matchup, with both Urbandale and Ankeny Centennial making the call to not travel outside of the Des Moines metro due to snow. With the likely two top groups out of the mix, it falls to the Cedar Rapids city championship, as all four of the public high schools located within the boundaries of Cedar Rapids proper battle it out. Washington and Jefferson have a leg up on Kennedy and Prairie for the immediate season, as they have already competed, but history says that The Ambassadors and Happiness, Inc. will likely be the top two finishers at this competition. Behind the Big Four, Iowa City High will try to play spoiler and break into the top four, while Western Dubuque will likely fill out the finals field, barring a surprise entrance by Focal Point or Protégé. Omaha South would’ve been a finals choir here, but they unfortunately had to withdraw like Urbandale and Ankeny Centennial.

Sioux Falls Jefferson Cavalier Classic (cancelled)

The Lineup (all groups from South Dakota unless noted)

Large Mixed: Aberdeen Central “Eagle Express”, Hastings “Riverside Company” (MN), Lewis Central “Corporation” (IA), O’Gorman “Ovation!”, Sioux Falls Roosevelt “Executive Suite”, Sioux Falls Washington “Classic Connection”, St. Francis “Bridge Street Singers” (MN), Waconia “Power Company” (MN)

Small Mixed: Dell Rapids “Espresso Choir”, Vermillion “Rhythm in Red”

Womens: Aberdeen Central “Special Request”, Lewis Central “Company” (IA), Sioux Falls Roosevelt “Capitol Harmony”, Sioux Falls Washington “Stage Lights”, Waconia “The Current” (MN)

Inclusive (noncompetitive): Sioux Falls Lincoln “Lightwave”, Sioux Falls Jefferson “RISEing Stars”, Sioux Falls Roosevelt “Unity, Inc.”

Middle School: George McGovern "Expressions", Harrisburg North "Refractions", Harrisburg South "Illuminations", Memorial "Signature", O'Gorman "Innovations"

Ah, what would have been. The Minnesota state championship in a neutral venue a state away. All kidding aside, the Minnesota choirs would have likely stolen the show here, with Waconia and Hastings going at it in a perennial battle to see who the top show choir in the Gopher State will be this season. After that, it would be a drop-down, drag-out brawl for most of the rest of South Dakota, with the other two public Sioux Falls schools plus O’Gorman and Aberdeen Central all looking strong. Lewis Central took three straight sweep wins to end the season and would’ve likely made finals as well. They managed to get in at Gretna when Grand Island dropped out. St. Francis beat Washington and O’Gorman at this competition last year but had a complete turnover in leadership, leaving their status totally unknown. With the exception of Lewis Central, all of these choirs will have to wait another week (or more) to share their stories. Special shoutout as well to the inclusive division, which would have been the first of its kind to feature multiple all-abilities show choirs performing at the same event. It’s something the show choir world could stand to see more of in the coming years.

Waukee Starstruck

The Lineup (all groups from Iowa unless noted)

Mixed: Ankeny Centennial “Spectrum”, Dallas Center-Grimes “Momentum”, Indianola “Side One”, Maryville “Spectrum” (MO), Norwalk “Sound Revolution”, Southeast Polk “RAMification”, Urbandale “Studio”, Valley “Choralation”, Waukee Northwest “Eos”

Womens: Ankeny Centennial “Vortex”, Southeast Polk “Vocal Gold”, Urbandale “Affinity”

Prep: Indianola “Flip Side”, Norwalk “Sound Adrenaline”, Urbandale “Vitality”, Valley “Ignition”, Waukee Northwest “Aurora”

Middle School: Indianola "Side Effects" and "Side Kicks", Southeast Polk "Sudden Impulse", Summit "Fusion", Urbandale "Ambition" and "Pizzazz"

What was already looking to be a pretty fine Valley vs. Waukee Northwest matchup just got even more exciting with the addition of Urbandale and Ankeny Centennial, who both chose to stay local to Des Moines instead of travelling the couple of hours over to Linn-Mar, near Cedar Rapids. The order of the top four choirs will be anybody’s guess, with four of DSM’s most storied programs all going up against each other in a tight early-season matchup. Glenwood Titan Fever looked to factor in slightly below those two, but Illinois’ lone representative bowed out due to weather concerns. Behind them, Indianola, Southeast Polk and Norwalk are now suddenly fighting to simply get into finals instead of going for the fourth-place spot. Assuming this competition goes on as scheduled without any drops, Waukee is definitely a contender for “deepest Iowa competition of the year” – and that’s even with Liberty and Glenwood being early casualties to the snow.

Wildcard: Onalaska Show Choir Classic

New for this year: we asked you all to vote for a fifth Comp of the Week on our X and Instagram pages. The results are in: Onalaska beat out Beavercreek, Muscatine and Blue Valley to be the final competition covered in this week’s column. Keep an eye out for a midweek poll next week to help your favorite competition get in!

The Lineup (all groups from Wisconsin unless noted)

Mixed: Bemidji “Vocalmotive” (MN), Eau Claire Memorial “Old Abe Show Choir”, Holmen “Midwest Express”, La Crosse Central “Grand Central Station”, Logan “The Class Act”, Monona Grove “Silver Connection”, Neenah “Vintage”, New London “Vision”, Sauk Prairie “Executive Session”, South St. Paul “SouthSide Sensation”, Sparta “Upstage Adrenaline”, West Salem “Singsations”

Womens: Monona Grove “Silver Dimension”, Sauk Prairie “YTBN”, Sparta “Rise of Adrenaline”

Middle School (cancelled): Holmen “Midwest Connection”, La Crosse “Star Power Alpha” and “Star Power Omega”, Sauk Prairie “Soaring Sound”, West Salem “Crescendo”

The big kicker here is that Omaha Westside dropped out of the competition, leaving this one anybody’s for the taking in both divisions. Bemidji was the winner of this competition last season, but a complete turnover on the leadership side leaves a repeat in considerable question. La Crosse Central was third at last week’s Ankeny Centennial competition, and Sauk Prairie and Sparta were fourth and fifth at last week’s Holmen competition. Any of those three could make a run at the win if Bemidji is not up to their usual form. Behind them, a gaggle of mid-tier Wisconsin choirs are gunning for the last couple finals spots. Logan was a sliver away from finals at Holmen, and Neenah likely would’ve been in the same boat if a time penalty had not been assessed. New London and Holmen both haven’t competed yet this year, but enter as solid contenders as well.

This post will not be updated before the weekend, but check back early next week to see what competitions did actually happen and what the results mean!


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