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Comps of the Week: 3/4/23

The first weekend of March signifies the end to competition season for some groups and the beginning of competition season for other groups. Regardless of where they’re at, there is a ton of talent hitting the stage this weekend!

Daniel Hand Connecticut Classic

The Lineup (all choirs from Massachusetts unless noted)

Large Mixed: Andover “From Start to Finish”, Lowell “Sound Impressions”, Loveland “By Request” (OH), Shepherd Hill “Fantasy”, South Windsor “Choral Spectrum” (CT), Tantasqua “ENCORE!”, Waltham “Music Unlimited”

Small Mixed: Bishop Hendricken “Paramount” (RI), Scranton “First Edition” (PA)

Single-Gender: Andover “Back to Bass-ics”, Andover “Nothin’ But Treble”, Loveland “Allure” (OH), Shepherd Hill “Illusion”, Somerset Berkley “Amplified”

Putting aside the fact that the Connecticut Classic only features one choir from Connecticut, this is a stellar large mixed lineup for where the New England scene currently sits. While Waltham seems to be the best of the non-Daniel Hand choirs in the Yankee region this year, South Windsor and Shepherd Hill are ready for another crack at Music Unlimited. Loveland, fresh off a second-place finish at Ross last weekend, will also make the trip up to give it their shot against New England’s best. The Loveland-Waltham matchup will definitely be one to watch. In small mixed, Scranton will look to go three in a row before they head down to Virginia the second weekend of March. While there are no finals to qualify for, Loveland Allure will look to continue their womens division win streak, which currently sits at three.

Glenwood The Event

The Lineup (all choirs from Illinois unless noted)

Championship Mixed: Clinton “Attaché” (MS), Decatur “Elite Energy”, Marquette “Center Stage” (MO), Pekin “Noteables”, Peoria “Soundwave”, Wheaton North “Flight”, Wheaton Warrenville South “The Classics”

Festival Mixed: Berkley “ENCORE!” (MI), Springfield “IN Session”, Unity “Vocal Rush”, Watseka “Sensations”

Womens: Springfield “Scarlet Harmony”, Wheaton Warrenville South “Esprit”

Middle School: Decatur “Collective Sound”, Edison “Electric Youth”, Franklin “Fantastic Falcons”, Mt. Zion “Sound System”, Peoria “Vocal Velocity”

A week after Wheaton Warrenville South went down to Mississippi, Clinton comes up to Illinois to return the favor. This is, perhaps, THE showdown of the year at the top of the pile. While The Classics lost to Brandon at Petal, they remain incredibly strong and should give the country’s premier show choir a run for their money. Flight has only lost to WWS this year, and they will also look to factor in the mix up at the top. Behind the top podium, Peoria and Marquette are both solid additions to any finals and will look to fight it out for the ‘best of the rest’. Depending on if womens groups are eligible for finals, Esprit could factor in as well, as they did make finals at Petal last weekend. Otherwise, Decatur looks to be the favorite to take the sixth spot.

John Hersey Chicagoland Showcase

The Lineup (all groups from Illinois unless noted)

Championship Mixed: Alan B. Shepard “Nova”, Batavia “Swingsingers”, Carmel “Ambassadors” (IN), Chesterton “Sandpipers” (IN), El Paso-Gridley “Modulations”, Green Bay East “Rhapsody in Red” (WI), Manteno “Magic”, Milton “Choralation” (WI), Naperville North “Entourage”, Oswego “Commotion”, Sullivan “Singers”

Festival Mixed: Carmel Catholic “Cadence”, Parkview “Pizazz” (WI), Westosha Central “Central Swing, Inc.” (WI)

Womens: Carmel “Accents” (IN), Chesterton “Drifters” (IN), El Paso-Gridley “Hi Fidelity”, Milton “Octave Above” (WI), Naperville North “High Heeled Harmony”

Middle School: El Paso-Gridley “Crescendo”, El Paso-Gridley “Dynamics”, Hubble “Expressions”, Manteno “Grand Paws”, Perrysburg “Golden Jackets” (OH), Road Show “Starlights & Dynamites”, St. Michael “Shine!”, Sullivan “Singers, Jr.”

Moving north from central Illinois to the Chicago metro, this edition of the Chicagoland Showcase is no less exciting than previous versions. Chesterton will face its toughest competition since January when Carmel rolls into town. Naperville North would like a word at the top of the scoresheets as well. El Paso-Gridley remains a dangerous group and could pop off here in preparation for an end-of-season trip to Show Choir Nationals. Behind the top four, Alan B. Shepard is having a career year this year and will look to continue a string of good placements. Green Bay East has made finals this year, and Sullivan swept festival mixed at Naperville North. Manteno, however, has the most consistent record of all of them this year. The womens division is also a complete bloodbath, with premier groups from Carmel, Chesterton and Naperville North squaring off in that division.

Lewis Central Clash of the Titans

The Lineup (all groups from Iowa unless noted)

4A: Millard South “South on Stage” (NE), Papillion-La Vista South “Titanium” (NE), Sioux Falls Jefferson “Legacy” (SD), Westside “Amazing Technicolor Show Choir” (NE)

3A: Denison “Singing Ambassadors”, Glenwood “Fast Lane”, Sioux Center “Satisfaction”

2A: Logan-Magnolia “Off-Center Stage”, Missouri Valley “MoShow”, Vermillion “Rhythm in Red” (SD), Woodbine “Visual Harmonics”

Womens: Glenwood “Glamour”, Millard South “Stage One” (NE), Papillion-La Vista South “Titan Radiance” (NE), Sioux Falls Jefferson “Revelry” (SD), Westside “Simply Irresistible” (NE)

Prep: Atlantic “Adrenaline”, Papillion-La Vista South “Titan Express” (NE), Westside “Warrior Express” (NE)

Middle School: Elkhorn “Classics” (NE), Elkhorn Grandview “Grand Marquee” (NE), Kirn “North Stars”, Lewis and Clark “Discovery” (NE), Missouri Valley “MoShow Jr. Edition”, Papillion “Reflections” (NE), Westside “Westside Connection” (NE), Westwood “Voices in Motion”

While show choir competitions often have rather ambitious names, the Clash of the Titans certainly lives up to its moniker this year. After Titanium narrowly beat ATSC at Omaha South on Feb. 18, two of the Nebraska Big Three take one more shot at each other. This battle could go either way between two of the Midwest’s best. After running over some smaller competitions in 2022, Millard South has proved its mettle in 2023 and has emerged as a top-tier group in Nebraska. Sioux Falls Jefferson also continues to improve in its second year of existence. Glenwood or Sioux Center may challenge for the last two finals spots, but the more likely scenario is that Westside’s Simply Irresistible and one of the two Papio South undercard groups fill out the fifth and sixth spots.

Solon Show Choir Invitational

The Lineup (all groups from Ohio unless noted)

Large Mixed: ETC “The All Americans”, Findlay “First Edition”, Grosse Pointe South “Pointe Singers” (MI), Marysville “Swingers Unlimited”, Twinsburg “Great Expectations” Small Mixed: Ada “Varsity Singers”, Euclid “Varsity Chorale”, Garfield Heights “Music Express”, Grosse Pointe South “Serendipity” (MI), Strongsville “Mustang Express”, Walsh Jesuit “Harmony Gold”

Womens: ETC “Rouge”, Twinsburg “Blue Harmony”

Middle School: Bunsold “Mini Swingers”, ETC “Main Street Singers”, RB Chamberlain “RBC Singers”

Solon does not suffer from a dearth of storylines in this year’s edition. Findlay hasn’t lost all season, and the only choreo caption they’ve dropped this year is to… Marysville, at Medina. ETC comes in as one of the biggest wildcards in the country right now as their girls group, Rouge, won the overall title at Twinsburg last weekend. Grosse Pointe South is also a contender, having cleaned up the major captions en route to a win at Walsh Jesuit. Garfield Heights stands to be the top group in the small mixed division and could definitely qualify for finals. In the middle school division, Bunsold has made finals already this year and could be a sleeper finals candidate if middle school groups are eligible for finals.

Totino-Grace Show Choir Spectacular

The Lineup (all groups from Minnesota unless noted)

Mixed: Altoona “Locomotion” (WI), Bemidji “Vocalmotive”, Elkhorn South “Blackout” (NE), Harrisonville “Music Makers” (MO), Hastings “Riverside Company”, Indianola “Side One” (IA), Janesville Craig “Spotlighters” (WI), Logan “The Class Act” (WI), North St. Paul “Northern Lights”, South St. Paul “SouthSide Sensation”, Waubonsie Valley “Sound Check” (IL)

Prep: Elkhorn South “Power Surge” (NE), Indianola “Flip Side” (IA), New Prague “Emotion”

Womens: Bemidji “La Voce Ballo”, Elkhorn South “Shockwave” (NE), Hastings “Dynamic Edition”, Waubonsie Valley “Resonance” (IL)

This is just one of those lineups that leaves you a little bit slack jawed. Choirs from six different states are on the roster. Bemidji in the final competition ever under Chris Fettig, Hastings before they ship off to Show Choir Nationals, Elkhorn South with no finishes lower than fourth this year, Waubonsie Valley finding their identity in the post-Seth Durbin era, so many storylines. Toss in perennial Missouri 4A power Harrisonville, dangerous choir Indianola from Iowa, and finals contenders Janesville Craig and South St. Paul, and the battle for finals heats up immensely. While Bemidji and Hastings will likely take the top two spots, any placements beyond that are entirely in question.

Check back when the dust has settled for a look at how these six competitions all went down!

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