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Comps of the Week: 1/7/2023

Welcome back to 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.

Ankeny Centennial Mid-Iowa Show Choir Championships

Ankeny Centennial, located in the Des Moines suburb of Ankeny, opened in the fall of 2013. Mid-Iowa, as it is colloquially known, is Iowa’s premiere competition on the first weekend of January.

The Lineup (from Iowa unless otherwise noted)

Mixed: Broken Arrow “Tiger Rhythm” (OK), Cedar Rapids Kennedy “Happiness, Inc.”, Linn-Mar “10th Street Edition”, Waconia “Power Company (MN), Waukee Northwest “Eos”

Womens: Broken Arrow “Tiger Mystique” (OK), Linn-Mar “Hi-Style”

Prep: Broken Arrow “Tiger Momentum” (OK), Cedar Rapids Kennedy “Protégé”, Linn-Mar “In Step”, Waukee Northwest “Aurora”

When they call it the Championships, they mean it. Varsity groups entered won a combined ten championships in 2022 and missed a combined one finals (Kennedy at Show Choir Nationals). The Mid-Iowa part? Maybe not so much. Waukee Northwest is the only Des Moines-area choir to enter, although entrants Broken Arrow (Oklahoma) and Waconia (Minnesota) combine to make this a true “big school” competition.

Despite there being only 11 groups entered total and only five in the mixed division, the top five placements could conceivably go all of about a million different ways. Additionally, the prep and womens divisions will be worth watching early in the day, as the highest-scoring group between those two divisions will round out the finals field of six groups.

Colby Central Wisconsin Spectacular

After a two-year hiatus, Colby is back as Wisconsin’s bellwether opening-weekend competition. First started by Kevin Spindler in 2005, 2022 marks a return to form, as the competition maxed out on entrants at 14 groups.

The Lineup (from Wisconsin unless noted)

Mixed: Altoona “Locomotion”, Chippewa Falls “Chi-Hi Harmonics”, Eau Claire Memorial “Old Abe Show Choir”, Eau Claire North “Northernaires”, Mayville “Cardinal Singers”, Neenah “Vintage”, New London “Vision”, North St. Paul “Northern Lights” (MN), Onalaska “Hilltoppers”, Plymouth “Momentum”, South St. Paul “SouthSide Sensation” (MN), Tomah “Limited Edition”

Prep: Medford “Momentum”, Onalaska “Express”

Despite it being the first Spectacular since 2020, the lineup includes many longtime Colby attendees like Onalaska, Neenah, North St. Paul, Chippewa Falls, and Altoona. It also draws well from all areas of Wisconsin, bringing in a handful of northwestern choirs as well as Tomah and Onalaska from the southwest, New London from the northeast, and Mayville and Plymouth from the Southeast.

Onalaska is the only choir on the roster that won a grand championship in 2022; Neenah and North St. Paul also made consistent finals appearances at quality competitions. The back end of finals is entirely up in the air, with Mayville, New London, Tomah, Plymouth, Onalaska Express and a couple other choirs having feasible paths to the evening championships.

Papillion-La Vista South Titan Classic

Papio South’s competition is the unofficial kickoff to Nebraska season, being the lone in-state contest before Ralston and UNL the following weekend. It is also the only two-day competition on the docket for this weekend.

The Lineup (from Nebraska unless otherwise noted)

Mixed: Elkhorn North “adrENaline”, Gretna “Revolution”, Lewis Central “Corporation” (IA), O’Gorman “Ovation!” (SD), Sioux Falls Jefferson “Legacy” (SD), Waukee “Millennium” (IA)

Womens: Mercy “Treblemakers”, Sioux Falls Jefferson “Revelry” (SD)

Prep: Gretna “Evolution”, Platteview “Platinum”, Waukee “Spirit” (IA)

High School Exhibitions: Skutt Catholic “Vivace” and “Allegro”

Middle School Division I: La Vista “Nobility”, Liberty “Flight”, Papillion “Reflections”, Russell “Leaders of the Pack”

Middle School Division II: Logan Fontenelle “Perfect Harmony”, Mission “Brave Notations”, Russell “Subwoofers”

Middle School Girls: Beadle “Encore”

The mixed division is clearly highlighted by its diversity; only two of the six choirs are from Nebraska and both are metro Omaha locals. They are supplemented by a pair of sophomore South Dakota choirs, with Sioux Falls Jefferson in its second year of competition and O’Gorman in its second year of direction under Nick Engbers. Waukee and Lewis Central, from Iowa, bring arguably the biggest dimension to the competition, with Waukee being a perennial power and Lewis Central still on the upswing in year four under Kevin Palu.

There’s a pretty good chance that the six varsity choirs will fill out the finals field, but there is a scenario where Waukee’s prep or Mercy can sneak in at the six over whoever is at the bottom of the varsity division.

Viterbo 101

Run by one of the nation’s top collegiate show choir programs, Viterbo has oscillated between the first and second weekends of January, but this year falls on the debut weekend of competition season.

The Lineup (from Wisconsin unless noted)

Mixed: Cedar Rapids Washington “Momentum” (IA), La Crosse Central “Grand Central Station”, Logan “The Class Act”, Sauk Prairie “Executive Session”, West Salem “Singsations”, Westside “Amazing Technicolor Show Choir” (NE), Xavier “Xhilaration” (IA)

Prep: Cotter “Show Choir” (MN), Sauk Prairie “YTBN”, West Salem “Singsations”

Middle School: La Crosse “Star Power Alpha”, Meadowview “Adrenaline Rush”, Onalaska “In The Middle”, Onalaska “Top O’ The Middle”

Viterbo continues its run of scoring high top-end groups to attend. Westside is still the machine that it always is under Doran Johnson. Washington remains a power player in the Cedar Rapids area. Sauk Prairie won two grand championships last season. La Crosse Central was arguably one of Wisconsin’s surprise groups last year. The lineup also features the competitive debuts of Cotter High (Winona, MN) and Meadowview Middle (Sparta, WI).

The four choirs mentioned above (Westside, Cedar Rapids Washington, Sauk Prairie, and La Crosse Central) are poised to make finals. That leaves two spots for three varsity groups or any prep groups who may make the cut. Logan is in its first year of direction under Adam Carty and could very well fly under the radar. West Salem and Xavier both made multiple finals appearances last year, meaning that whoever qualifies for finals, it will be a quality showing.

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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