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Comps of the Week: 1/14/23

Welcome to the second week of show choir season! Each week, Barstool will be highlighting four competitions around the country as Comps of the Week. These are competitions that stand out above the rest for some reason or another and should make for some of the nation’s most exciting show choir come Saturday. Here they are, listed in alphabetical order.

Beavercreek Midwest Show Choir Classic

Kicking off the winter Ohio competition season, Beavercreek has long attracted a wide variety of groups over its two-day competition. That continues this year, with 20 different groups competing across four different divisions.

The Lineup (from Ohio unless otherwise noted)

Large Mixed: Hurricane “Red Hot” (WV), Lebanon “Singers”, Loveland “By Request”, Piqua “The Company”

Small Mixed: Benjamin Logan “Standing Ovation”, Elgin “Energizers”, Herbert Hoover “High Impact” (WV), Marion Harding “Harding Singers”, Milton-Union “Center Stage”, South Dearborn “Opening Knight” (IN), St. Clairsville “St. C Singers”, Strongsville “Mustang Express”, West Jessamine County “Dually Noted” (KY)

Single-Gender: Hurriane “Heat Wave” (WV), Loveland “Allure”, Marion Harding “Singers Xtreme”, West Jessamine County “Fortissima” (KY)

Middle School: Jackson “Spark of Class”, Loveland “Revolution”, Ulysses S. Grant “Prexie Singers”

The biggest thing that jumps out at Beavercreek is the absolutely mammoth battle that will occur in the large mixed division. Hurricane, Piqua, and Loveland are three of the best groups in their part of the country, and all three are making their competition debuts in calendar year 2023. It could go any way between the three of them, with Piqua already having a late 2022 win at Ada on its resume for this school year. Behind them, last year’s top three in small mixed (Hoover, St. Clairsville and Milton-Union) all return, but so do a host of others, notably Marion Harding and South Dearborn. A womens group also made finals last year, so the womens groups from Hurricane and Loveland also have to be in the finals conversation as well.

Linn-Mar Supernova

The phrase ‘quality over quantity’ especially applies to Linn-Mar. While Supernova isn’t on the bigger end of competitions, it has long been known as a competition that mainly attracts groups in the upper echelons of show choir, especially those in Iowa and surrounding states.

The Lineup (from Iowa unless otherwise noted)

Mixed: Ankeny Centennial “Spectrum”, Benton Community “Celebration Co.”, Iowa City “4th Avenue Jazz Company”, Logan “The Class Act” (WI), Prairie “The Ambassadors”

Womens: Ankeny Centennial “ReMix”, Iowa City “Charisma”

Prep: Ankeny Centennial “Chaos”, Ankeny Centennial “Eternal Rush”, Benton Community “Jubilation, Inc.”, Prairie “Focal Point”

Ankeny Centennial goes to the competition of the only Midwest group that they lost to last year – Linn-Mar. Prairie and Iowa City are both making their competitive debuts of the year. Benton is coming off of a Des Moines Christian competition where they did not make finals, and Logan was the 7th-place choir at Viterbo 101 last week. Despite a pair of disappointing results, the fact that there are only five varsity groups means that it is likely that all will make finals, barring two prep groups scoring higher. Ankeny Centennial Eternal Rush is the presumptive pick to be the sixth finalist, as they are one of the top prep groups in the Midwest, if not the country. They have the potential to not only round out the finals field but to do some serious damage, as they finished fourth in this same competition last year.

Mt. Zion Midwest Invitational

Mt. Zion is one of the three longest-running and highest-prestige competitions in the Midwest, along with Bishop Luers and Onalaska. The central Illinois festival returns this year with a lineup that does not disappoint, drawing groups from three states besides Illinois.

The Lineup (from Illinois unless noted)

Mixed: Columbus East “Center Stage” (IN), Danville “Delegation”, Decatur “Elite Energy”, Glenwood “Titan Fever”, Omaha South “The Ambassadors” (NE), Sullivan “Singers”, Troy Buchanan “Express” (MO), Wheaton Warrenville South “The Classics”

Prep: Alan B. Shepard “Nova”, Herscher “Class Act”, Highland “Dissonance”, Springfield “IN Session”, Troy Buchanan “Soundwave” (MO)

Single-Gender: Danville “Contemporaires”, Danville “Executives”, Springfield “Scarlet Harmony”, Wheaton Warrenville South “Esprit”

Middle School: Decatur “Collective Sound”, El Paso-Gridley “Crescendo”, El Paso-Gridley “Dynamics”, Sullivan “Singers, Jr.”, Troy “Tonali-T” (MO)

WWS makes its 2023 debut after a 2022 season that saw them go undefeated. Glenwood also rides a wave of momentum after making finals at Show Choir Nationals in 2022. Decatur enters as a question mark after former director Erik Taylor left for Mt. Zion – who is leading them now? The only person we still know that is associated with Decatur this season is choreographer and former Mt. Zion alum, Sam Mulligan. This will be his third season doing Elite Energy's choreography. Troy remains one of Missouri’s most dangerous choirs, and Omaha South enjoyed a little bit of a breakout season in Nebraska last year. Columbus East also made finals at this competition last year and could challenge again. Troy Soundwave will match up against three smaller Illinois programs in the festival division, and WWS Esprit looks to start another winning streak in their division after ending last year with a second-place showing at John Hersey.

Onalaska Show Choir Classic

Onalaska and Mt. Zion used to be on different weekends so that the two programs could always go to each other’s competitions. While that is no longer the case, the Wisconsin end of the two also continues to pull quality lineups year in and year out, with ten varsity mixed groups this year.

The Lineup (from Wisconsin unless otherwise noted)

Mixed: Bemidji “Vocalmotive” (MN), Cedar Rapids Jefferson “West Side Delegation” (IA), La Crosse Central “Grand Central Station”, Milton “Choralation”, Monona Grove “Silver Connection”, Neenah “Vintage”, North St. Paul “Northern Lights” (MN), Sauk Prairie “Executive Session”, Sparta “Upstage Adrenaline”, West Salem “Singsations”

Womens: Milton “Octave Above”, Sauk Prairie “YTBN”, West Salem “Vivace”

Prep: Cedar Rapids Jefferson “Ovation” (IA), Neenah “Act II”

Middle School (noncompetitive): Holmen “Midwest Connection”, La Crosse “Star Power Alpha”, La Crosse “Star Power Omega”, Onalaska “In The Middle”, Onalaska “Top O’ The Middle”, Sauk Prairie “Soaring Sound”, West Salem “Crescendo”

It is something of a full circle moment for the Bemidji program. Director Chris Fettig fell in love with show choir attending Onalaska in the early 1990s, so he started a program in Bemidji. The program will now look to win its second straight Classic in Fettig’s final year as director. La Crosse Central, Sauk Prairie and West Salem all come off of competing at Viterbo 101; Central was by far the best placing, coming in second and beating Cedar Rapids Washington. Its crosstown school, Cedar Rapids Jefferson, enters as a relative unknown, with former director Patrick Fagan now at Washington. Neenah and North St. Paul come from Colby last week, where NSP scored a nice third-place finish to go along with Neenah’s fifth. Monona Grove makes its season debut in its second year of direction by Brooke Crego, and will look to continue its run of finals appearances. Milton is also an intriguing group, with new director Bryce Hesterman coming to the program from Smith-Cotton High School in Missouri.

Check back early next week for a recap of these competitions! Good luck to those competing and safe travels to all competitors and spectators!

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