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Comps of the Week: 2/25/23

We’re switching it up a little bit this week! While COTW usually features four competitions with some longform analysis, there is so much talent on stage this week that there are six featured competitions, with quick hits to watch for in each.

Bishop Heelan Crusader Classic

The Lineup (all choirs from Iowa unless noted)

4A: Aberdeen Central “Eagle Express” (SD), Gretna “Revolution” (NE), Mitchell “Friend de Coup” (SD), Papillion-La Vista “Free Spirit” (NE), Sioux City East “The Headliners”

3A: Altoona “Locomotion” (WI), Blair “Ovation” (NE), LeMars “Crimson and Black”, Sioux Center “Satisfaction”, Spirit Lake “Music Factory”

2A: Hinton “Soundwaves”, Westwood “Rebelaires”

Single-Gender: Aberdeen Central “Special Request” (SD), Papillion-La Vista “Heart and Soul” (NE), Sergeant Bluff-Luton “Unleashed”, Sioux City East “Entourage”, Sioux City East “Prestige”

Prep: Gretna “Evolution” (NE), Papillion-La Vista “Monarchy” (NE), Sioux Center “Revolution”, Spirit Lake “Sonic Boom”

Middle School – Tier I: Harrisburg North “Refractions” (SD), Millard North “Stampede” (NE), Mitchell “Maximum Velocity” (SD), Sioux City East “Evolution”

Middle School – Tier II: Mitchell “Exclamation” (SD), Sergeant Bluff-Luton “Music in Motion”, Sioux Center “Adrenaline”, Spirit Lake “Spirit Rising”, Westwood “Voices in Motion”

Middle School Girls: Harrisburg North “Reflections” (SD), Millard North “Cavallo” (NE)

While the competition takes place in Iowa, this is as close to a South Dakota supremacy battle as you’ll get all year. While Mitchell still remains in the drivers seat for the Mount Rushmore State, Aberdeen has quietly emerged as a solid undercard. They haven’t finished lower than second all year and while Sioux Falls Jefferson swept them early in the season, Eagle Express avenged that two weekends ago. Gretna has been nothing short of a sensation in Nebraska this season, collecting two wins and knocking off groups like Waukee. Free Spirit also has two wins on the year and has beaten big names like Lincoln East and Lincoln Southwest. Sioux City East has been a tad streaky but should be a solid pick for a finalist. The sixth finalist spot is essentially a toss-up for whoever wants it, with Sioux Center, Spirit Lake, Westwood, and Papio Monarchy some of the names in contention.

Franklin Central Hoosier Show Choir Classic

The Lineup (all choirs from Indiana unless noted)

Large Mixed: Brownsburg “Spotlight Singers & Company”, Carmel “Ambassadors”, Center Grove “Sound System”, Fishers “Electrum”, Lafayette Jefferson “First Edition”, Mt. Zion “Swingsations” (IL), Whiteland “Rhythm Masters”

Small Mixed: Beech Grove “Jubilaires”, Center Grove “Surround Sound”, Decatur Central “Goldenaires”, Pendleton Heights “Pendletones”, Roncalli “Royal Rhapsody”

Large Womens: Brownsburg “Starlight Voices”, Carmel “Accents”, Center Grove “Debtones”, Fishers “Sound”, Lafayette Jefferson “Expressions”, Whiteland “Expressions”

Small Womens: Beech Grove “Elan & Co”, Brownsburg “Bella Voce”, Center Grove “Accents”, Decatur Central “Expressions”, Pendleton Heights “Emerald Suites”

Prep: Carmel “New Edition”, Lafayette Jefferson “A Capella”, Whiteland “Iridescence”

Middle School: Carmel “Class Act”, Noblesville East “Vocal Revolution”

Carmel and Center Grove tangle again, but remove Franklin Central from the discussion and add in Mt. Zion. This is yet another battle of Indianapolis-area heavyweights that deserves all the hype it gets. Fishers is a group that could sneak and challenge for a podium spot as well. Brownsburg and Lafayette Jefferson are both incredibly capable groups, but with only five finals spots, a very good group will miss out on the evening round. Small mixed and womens are held on Friday night – don’t sleep on those divisions, because storylines abound as well. Pendleton Heights and Roncalli, two small mixed stalwarts, go at it in that division, while small womens is a very interesting mix of third or fourth groups from large schools and true small womens groups.

Hastings Swingin’ on the River

The Lineup (all choirs from Minnesota unless noted)

Mixed: Bemidji “Vocalmotive”, Bloomington Jefferson “Jefferson Connection”, Bloomington Kennedy “Rhythm in Gold”, Papillion-La Vista South “Titanium” (NE), Prairie “The Ambassadors” (IA), Sparta “Upstage Adrenaline” (WI), St. Francis “Bridge Street Singers”, Tomah “Limited Edition” (WI), Totino-Grace “Company of Singers”, Urbandale “Studio” (IA)

Single-Gender: Bemidji “La Voce Ballo”, Bloomington Jefferson “Jive”, Papillion-La Vista South “Titan Radiance” (NE), Totino-Grace “Encore Singers”, Totino-Grace “Testostertones”

Prep: Papillion-La Vista South “Titan Express” (NE), Prairie “Focal Point” (IA), Urbandale “Vitality” (IA)

Minnesota has just been brutal these past couple weeks. On stage this weekend, there is Papio South, one of the top three Nebraska choirs this year; Bloomington Kennedy, on top of the Minnesota pile this year; Urbandale, who has only lost to Waukee Northwest this year; Prairie, who has run the gamut of tough competitions this year; Bemidji, who has a win this year, Totino-Grace, who has a sweep this year; and St. Francis, who has swept Totino. Add on to that Tomah and Sparta, who both have second-place finishes, and it’s just a gathering of talent that rarely happens in one spot. Papio South, Urbandale and Bloomington Kennedy are the best bets to make finals and place well. Behind them? It’s anyone’s guess, although Barstool will lean towards Prairie, St. Francis and Bemidji.

Norris Fields of Talent

The Lineup (all choirs from Nebraska)

Varsity Mixed: Elkhorn North “adrENaline”, Elkhorn South “Blackout”, Hastings “Uncaged”, Lincoln East “Express”, Lincoln Northeast “Voices ‘N Harmony”, Lincoln Southwest “Resonance”, Millard North “Infinity”

Open Mixed: Beatrice “Limited Edition”, Plattsmouth “Out of the Blue”

Womens: Beatrice “First Edition”, Lincoln East “Elegance”, Elkhorn South “Shockwave”, Lincoln Northeast “Dynamix”, Millard North “Illumination”

Prep: Elkhorn South “Power Surge”, Lincoln East “Elevation”, Lincoln Southwest “Ambience”, Millard North “Intensity”

You probably know where this is going after reading the lineup. Norris has, at least for this year, turned into a convenient venue to try a crosstown rivalry. Lincoln Southwest gets another shot at Lincoln East after they went 3rd and 2nd at UNL last month. Elkhorn North and Elkhorn South go at it once again after South swept North at Elkhorn on the first Saturday in February. Breaking up the party, Millard North comes in hot after a statement-making second-place finish at Waconia last weekend. The sixth finalist spot is a complete question mark, with Lincoln Northeast or Hastings both possibilities as well as Lincoln East’s girls and Lincoln Southwest’s prep group.

Ross Legacy Championship

The Lineup (all choirs from Ohio unless noted)

Large Mixed: Fairfield “Choraliers”, Findlay “First Edition”, Hamilton “Prestige”, Loveland “By Request”, Olentangy “Keynotes”, Piqua “The Company”

Small Mixed: Colerain “Show Cards”, Donelson Christian “Legacy” (TN), Franklin Community “Heritage Singers” (IN), Herbert Hoover “High Impact” (WV), Middletown “Purple Pizzazz”, Norwood “The Silhouettes”, South Dearborn “Opening Knight” (IN)

Single-Gender: Fairfield “Pure Elegance”, Franklin Community “Sensations” (IN), Hamilton “CrescenDudes”, Hamilton “Vocal Elegance”, Loveland “Allure”, Olentangy “She-Notes”

Middle School: Bunsold “Mini Swingers”, Hamilton “Cutting Edge”, Loveland “Revolution”, South Dearborn “Showcase” (IN)

This is about as good of an Ohio large mixed division as there will be this year. The division boasts six grand championships and a host of other podium finishes. Findlay is currently undefeated in 2023, and Piqua has not lost a vocal caption all year long. Loveland remains perennially dangerous, and Fairfield has been knocking on the door with a pair of second-place finishes. Olentangy hasn’t dropped a crew caption yet this season and will finally go to a competition that Marysville isn’t at as well. While those five are pretty good picks for finals, the sixth spot could go anywhere from Hamilton to Franklin Community to South. Give a call to the small mixed division, which features choirs from four different states!

Southeast Polk Rhythm and Music Showcase

The Lineup (all choirs from Iowa)

4A: Ankeny “Visual Adrenaline”, Ankeny Centennial “Spectrum”, Dallas Center-Grimes “Momentum”, Johnston “Innovation”, Norwalk “Sound Revolution”, Valley “Choralation”

2A: Ogden “Bulldog Beat”

Womens: Ankeny “Intensity”, Ankeny Centennial “ReMix”, Dallas Center-Grimes “Impulse”, Johnston “Bella Voce”

Prep: Ankeny “Perpetual Motion”, Ankeny Centennial “Chaos”, Ankeny Centennial “Eternal Rush”, Johnston “Synergy”, Johnston Middle “Sound Advice”, Norwalk “Sound Adrenaline”, Valley “Ignition”

Quality over quantity is the name of the game for the RAM Showcase. Johnston will face its toughest test yet as they pursue an undefeated season. The crosstown Ankeny rivalry will be renewed as well. VA comes in undefeated, while Spectrum has placings of 1, 2, and 3 to its name this year. That battle will definitely be one to watch. Valley is another group that will definitely factor into the conversation; Choralation has a pair of vocal captions to match with a pair of second-place finishes so far this year. Norwalk is by no measure an elite group, but is a good group by every measure. With a finals berth, Dallas Center-Grimes would make a statement that they have arrived as a 4A group. Also gunning for the last two spots? Prep groups from Johnston, Ankeny and Ankeny Centennial that are no strangers to qualifying for the evening round.

How will all of these great battles turn out? Check back late in the weekend to recap all of the action!

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