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Comps of the Week: 1/21/23

Even more states and circuits are opening up for the third weekend of January! Long-running Iowa, Nebraska and Wisconsin showdowns as well as the first Comp of the Week from Indiana highlight the Jan. 21 edition of COTW!

Johnson Showzam!

Fresh off a commanding win at UNL, Johnston returns home to host. They will host choirs from only five high schools, but they are five of the best in Iowa, and combine for 12 entries. A robust middle school portion on Friday night features nine choirs over two divisions as well.

The Lineup (from Iowa unless otherwise noted):

Mixed: Ankeny Centennial “Spectrum”, Cedar Rapids Kennedy “Happiness, Inc.”, Norwalk “Sound Revolution”, Urbandale “Studio”, Waukee Northwest “Eos”

Womens: Ankeny Centennial “ReMix”, Norwalk “Sound Adrenaline”

Prep: Ankeny Centennial “Chaos” and “Eternal Rush”, Cedar Rapids Kennedy “Protégé”, Urbandale “Vitality”, Waukee Northwest “Aurora”, Waukee Prairieview “Velocity”

Middle School – Tier I: Benton Community “Illusions”, Northview (Ankeny) “Ignition”, Russell (Millard) “Leaders of the Pack” (NE), Urbandale “Pizzazz”, Waukee Timberline “En Fuego”, Westside “Warrior Connection” (NE)

Middle School – Tier II: Russell (Millard) “Subwoofers” (NE), Urbandale “Ambition”, Waukee South “Spark”

In another typical large-school Iowa competition, all five varsity groups have the potential to do serious damage. Spectrum is coming off a split-caption win at Linn-Mar, and they haven’t lost to an Iowa group not named 10th Street since 2019. Many view Eos as a threat to beat them this week, as they grabbed the vocal caption away from Linn-Mar at Ankeny Centennial two weeks ago. Kennedy is coming off a strong third in that same competition, and Urbandale and Norwalk come from Waukee last week. Studio was the grand champion at that event, while Sound Revolution came out at the bottom of an incredibly hotly-contested finals. Studio has the potential to play spoiler to the top two and perhaps grab a caption as well. Additionally, the battle between Aurora and Eternal Rush for the last finals spot is shaping up to be one of the biggest prep group matchups this side of California, especially with an evening performance on the line for the winner.

Millard West Music Lives

Want your fill of Omaha-area show choir? You got it at Music Lives. Five groups in the Omaha metro match up with two potent Lincoln-area groups to make Music Lives Nebraska’s premier competition this weekend.

The Lineup (from Nebraska unless otherwise noted):

Mixed: Bellevue East “Take II”, Gretna “Revolution”, Lewis Central “Corporation” (IA), Lincoln Southwest “Resonance”, Norris “Gold”, Omaha South “The Ambassadors”, Westside “Amazing Technicolor Show Choir”

Womens: Lewis Central “Company” (IA), Mercy “Treblemakers”, Norris “Titanaires”, Omaha South “Amplify”, Westside “Simply Irresistible”

Prep: Bellevue East “East in Harmony”, Gretna “Evolution”, Lincoln Southwest “Ambiance”, Norris “68th Street Singers”, Westside “Warrior Express”

This is yet another competition that features a relatively small varsity division that is packed with heavy hitters – all seven bring at least one additional group. ATSC enters at the defending Music Lives champion and is riding high off a sweep at Viterbo two weeks ago. Revolution also won their season debut in a major upset over Waukee at Papio South. Norris, Lincoln Southwest and Omaha South are coming off second, third and fourth place finishes this past weekend, and all figure to factor into the conversation for the top few places as well. Behind them, Lewis Central will look to extend a streak of not missing a finals round that has been going since February 2020. In fact, the last competition that they missed finals at was the 2020 edition of Music Lives. Bellevue East will enter its sophomore season under the direction of Cameron Stussie fresh off a constructive clinic at Blair last weekend. Westside’s Simply Irresistible was the sixth finalist at last year’s Music Lives, but with a deeper field of quality varsity groups this year, they are a long shot to make it to the evening round.

Milton Rock The Rock

One of Wisconsin’s longest-running invitationals, Rock The Rock has produced some memorable lineups in terms of quality and quantity in recent years. 2023 is no different, boasting choirs from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois and Indiana converging to compete.

The Lineup (from Wisconsin unless noted):

Mixed: Batavia “Swingsingers” (IL), Chesterton “Sandpipers” (IN), Fort Atkinson “South High Street Singers”, Glenwood “Titan Fever” (IL), Hamilton “Synergy”, Janesville Craig “Spotlighters”, Monona Grove “Silver Connection”, Plymouth “Momentum”, Waconia “Power Company” (MN)

Womens: Chesterton “Drifters” (IN), Fort Atkinson “Lexington Singers”, Waconia “The Current” (MN)

Prep: Alan B. Shepard “Nova” (IL), Brodhead “Guys and Dolls”, DeForest “DeFortes”, Parkview “Pizazz”

Seven of the nine varsity groups competing made finals at a competition last weekend, and the other two didn’t compete. Glenwood came out with a podium finish at a stacked Mt. Zion invite, and Waconia made a resounding jump from third in prelims to take the win at Sioux Falls Jefferson. The matchup between those two will be the first since 2018, when Titan Fever won the Wheaton Warrenville South Choral Classic and Waconia came in sixth. The power balance will be closer this time, with Waconia coming in a little more battle-tested, with a finals berth at Ankeny Centennial also to their name. Chesterton comes in riding high as well after a strong second place at Muscatine, losing only to Ankeny. Monona Grove placed solidly in fifth at a tough Onalaska competition, with room to grow. Fort Atkinson, Janesville Craig and Hamilton were half of the finalists at Burlington, coming in third, fourth and sixth, respectively. While they are listed in the prep division, Alan B. Shepard cannot be counted out either, sneaking into finals from the prep division last week at Mt. Zion.

Twin Lakes Show Choir Invitational

While not the largest of invites out there, the first Twin Lakes competition held in-person since 2020 will feature an epic three-way battle at the top of finals. It stands as perhaps the most intriguing Indiana competition to date this season.

The Lineup (from Indiana unless otherwise noted):

Mixed: Beavercreek “Friends” (OH), Bishop Luers “Minstrels”, Lafayette Jefferson “First Edition”, Loveland “By Request” (OH), New Castle “Red Hot Blues”, Northrop “Charisma”

Womens: Loveland “Allure” (OH), Northrop “Allure”

Middle School: Loveland “Revolution” (OH)

Due to the small number of competing groups, only four groups will make it to finals. Most eyes will be on the top of the leaderboard, as a clash of Ohio titans is set to occur in, of all places, Monticello, Indiana. Beavercreek will be making its season debut, while Loveland is coming off a third-place finish at Beavercreek’s competition. The two met at Olentangy last season, where By Request got the better for Friends, although both made finals there. Lafayette Jefferson will probably be the top Indiana choir at this contest, and should be within shouting distance of the top two. Northrop comes in as a little bit of a question mark, having not matched up against many large mixed choirs last season. New Castle was the top non-Noblesville choir at Jay County and may make a run for the last finals spot. Loveland Allure always has to be mentioned in the finals conversation as well, but with only four spots, that makes it tough for a womens group to transfer to the evening.

As always, check back early next week for results and analysis on these four competitions!

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