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Comps of the Week: 4/2/23

Well, the calendar has turned to April. For the show choir world, that means three things: regional circuits wrap up, national contests, and California choirs debuting their shows (okay, the last one is a joke). Despite a limited number of competitions, the quality is still there!

FAME National Finals

The Lineup

Mixed: American Leadership Academy “Evolution” (UT), Bloomington Kennedy “Rhythm in Gold” (MN), Johnston “Innovation” (IA), Norris “Gold” (NE), Northridge “Northern Lights” (IN)

Womens: Northridge “Starlights” (IN)

Prep: Johnston “Synergy” (IA)

Although there are only five varsity choirs on this lineup here, each one of them has their own unique storyline heading into the national finals. ALA is looking to reclaim its identity in the post-Rick Lunt era. After missing finals at HOA Nashville last year in their only appearance, Evolution stormed out of FAME Orlando this year with the win, best vocals and best choreography. RIG came out on a tear this season and accepted a late-season invite to nationals, raising additional money during the season to make it to Branson. Winning would firmly put them alongside Hastings and Waconia at the top of the pile in Minnesota. Johnston, while not having faced Urbandale or Waukee Northwest in 2023, has beat darn near everybody else in the Des Moines metro area and comes here in place of a cancelled FAME Chicago. After finishing off the podium only once in 2022, Norris has only finished on the podium once in 2023 and will look to do it for a second time this season. Northridge is coming off winning the ISSMA Small School Finals, and is looking to make a splash against some larger and tougher national competition.

Jenks Show Choir Invitational

The Lineup (all choirs from Oklahoma unless noted)

Mixed: Broken Arrow “Tiger Rhythm”, Enid “Rhythm in Blue”, Lexington “Southern Accents”, Mustang “Backstage Broncos”, Pleasant Hill “Hillside Singers” (MO)

Single-Gender: Broken Arrow “Tiger Mystique”, Lexington “Pitch Slapped”, Lexington “Testostertones”, Pleasant Hill “Hilltop Harmony” (MO), Pleasant Hill “Powerhouse” (MO)

Prep: Broken Arrow “Tiger Momentum”, El Dorado Springs “Sound Collage” (MO), Ferris “Yellowjacket Singers” (TX)

Middle School: Centennial “Tiger Valor”, Childers “Tiger Tonez”, Oliver “Tiger Genesis”, Sequoyah “Tiger Legacy”

After a previous tentative 2018 competition was never hosted, Jenks is hosting its first show choir contest. The lineup is a very interesting mix of choirs. Tulsa-area rival Broken Arrow is in the driver’s seat to take home the win, bringing three groups. Lexington and Mustang represent the Oklahoma City area, while both Edmond schools – Memorial and Santa Fe – are absent. Enid comes from north central Oklahoma, and Pleasant Hill from central Missouri. Ferris makes the trip up from Texas to compete in a diverse prep division that also includes El Dorado Springs. Despite Jenks being about two hours from the southwest Missouri show choir belt, the only taker is Sound Collage. JSCI will take five finalists; there’s a nonzero possibility that Broken Arrow and Pleasant Hill lock everybody else out of finals. Of the other schools, Enid has the best shot to make the evening finals round. The middle school division is also worth a call, as the winner of the division will have bragging rights over the Broken Arrow school district for the summer.

Show Choir Canada Championships

The Lineup (all groups from Canada)

Open: All Saints “Flash”, Beaconsfield “Crescendo”, Etobicoke SOTA “Splash”, FAME SOPA “Fame”, Our Lady of Lourdes “The Pitches”, Pickering “Euphonix”, St. George’s “G Major”, Unionville “Synergy”

Show Choir Canada Championships returns to an in-person format after not having any event at all in both 2020 and 2021 and a virtual event in 2022. Despite the occasional appearances from US groups such as Burbank, Edgewood (Ind.), Music Academy of Western New York, Totino-Grace and Troy Buchanan, America’s top hat does not have to deal with any international competition this year. Show Choir Canada has a much smaller field this year that only features traditional schools; community groups such as Milton and Island were major players in previous years. Etobicoke has won the last three SCC titles and have seven overall wins. Unionville was the third-place finisher in advanced last year, and St. George’s won large non-advanced in 2022. All Saints and Our Lady of Lourdes were the top two in non-arts small mixed last year, so there are plenty of schools returning to unseat Splash.

Waltham Eastern Show Choir Festival

The Lineup (all choirs from Massachusetts unless noted)

Large Mixed: Andover “From Start to Finish”, Daniel Hand “VIBE” (CT), John Burroughs “Powerhouse” (CA), Lowell “Sound Impressions”, Shepherd Hill “Fantasy”, Tantasqua “ENCORE!”

Small Mixed: Bishop Hendricken “Paramount” (RI), Boston Latin “Pizazz”, Leominster “Ignition”, Oceanside “Soundwaves” (CA), Oliver Ames “Panache”, Somerset Berkley “Electrify”

Single-Gender: Andover “Back to Bass-ics”, Andover “Nothin’ But Treble”, John Burroughs “Sound Sensations” (CA), Lowell “Soundsations”, Shepherd Hill “Illusion”, Somerset Berkley “Amplified”, Tantasqua “Radiance”

Middle School: Charlton “Mirage”, Worcester Arts “MetroGnomes”

All New England show choir roads lead to Waltham – and perhaps a couple from California as well. The last event of the Northeast season features the top choir from the region, Daniel Hand, squaring off against John Burroughs, who was a time penalty away from beating Los Alamitos three weeks ago. Tantasqua is a group to keep an eye on, as they took vocals and show design away from Waltham last weekend at Bishop Hendricken. Shepherd Hill has been making gains as well, moving up to a gold medal at Hendricken. Somerset Berkley is the only small mixed choir entered with a division win this year, and that was at Lowell on Jan. 14. Oceanside took a win in one session of intermediate mixed at Hart three weeks ago, they should factor into the conversation as well. The single-gender division is loaded as well, and at seven choirs, it is the largest division in the event.

As always, check back early next week for a look back at how everything played out on stage this weekend!

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