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Comps of the Week Recap: Iowa Special

While the rest of the country saw its fair share of chaos and upsets, Iowa may have been a little bit more chalk… with a couple surprises thrown in!

Benton A Touch of Class Final Results

GC: Iowa City “4th Avenue Jazz Company” (BV/BC)

1RU: Davenport Central “Central Singers, Inc.” (BB)

2RU: Prairie “The Ambassadors”

3RU: Davenport Central “Blue Vibrations”

4RU: Clear Creek Amana “Vocal Dynamics”

4AJC is certainly the breakout choir of the year in Iowa after this win, and they’re trending into the national conversation as well. CSI is a very legitimate group year in and year out, and for Iowa City to beat them with both major captions is a feat that puts everybody on notice. While they’re definitely not in the S tier of Iowa show choir, as evidenced by their fifth-place showing at Waukee Northwest, they have a good shot to come out on the winning end of Spirit Lake this weekend. Prairie now has a pair of third-place finishes to their name this year and will need to have a good performance to hang onto the podium this weekend, going out-of-state to Naperville North. Another performance worth noting was Clear Creek Amana. While Vocal Dynamics has made finals from time to time, Saturday marked CCA’s first 3A division win since before the pandemic. In descending order, the rest of the 3A field was LeMars, Williamsburg and West Delaware.

Cedar Rapids Washington Mo Show Final Results

GC: Waukee Northwest “Eos” (BV/BC)

1RU: Sioux City East “The Headliners”

2RU: Pella “AcaPella” (BB)

3RU: Cedar Rapids Kennedy “Happiness, Inc.”

4RU: Iowa City West “Good Time Company”

5RU: Marion “New Creation”

On top? The group most people expected to be there. Behind Eos? Quite the jumble. Sioux City East, two weeks after a surprisingly low sixth place at Lincoln East, stormed into Cedar Rapids and into second place. Is it shades of the vintage Headliners seasoned observers are used to seeing? Only time will tell, but it seems as though 2024 may be another streaky season for one of western Iowa’s top choirs. Pella continues to cement its reputation as the best 3A choir in the state this season, taking the band caption off several excellent programs and placing third among a crowded field of 4A stars. Happiness has seemed to find a new home in fourth place – that is where the choir has landed in all three of its 2024 competitions to go along with another trio of fourths accumulated in 2023. GTC beat out Waukee Northwest Aurora in the 4A division in prelims and qualified for finals, a solid pickup for them considering there was a nonzero chance they would miss the evening round. Marion rounded out the finals field, which feels weird to say, since they’ve beaten several good programs from Iowa and beyond this season. It is their lowest placement since the 2022 Linn-Mar Supernova.

Keokuk Power City Classic Final Results

GC: Fort Madison “Swingspan” (BC/BB)

1RU: Davenport North “Northside Establishment”

2RU: Xavier “Xhilaration”

3RU: Davenport West “West Connection”

4RU: Mt. Pleasant “InMotion”

5RU: Springfield “IN Session”

It’s only natural that the most chaotic winner of the weekend comes from the competition that’s right on the border of Iowa. Fort Madison, who was a stealthy under-the-radar group in 2023, finally put all the pieces together and triumphed in a split-caption decision for their first win in a long time. How long? Nobody knows for sure, but their last win with online results is Cedar Rapids Washington in 1999, 24 years and 11 months ago. That’s a long time! Swingspan will travel to Wahoo, Nebraska, this upcoming weekend, where they will face another surprise winner from this past weekend, Lincoln Northeast. Davenport North comes home second, bridesmaids again after winning in 2022 but coming no closer than runner-up in 2023. Xavier and Davenport West are two 4A programs that often get lost in the shuffle of everything that happens in Iowa, but both choirs notched solid placements here and fended off the entire lower-division field (save for Fort Madison). Mt. Pleasant and Springfield made sure that the entire 3A division transferred to finals, locking out Central Lee – the only 2A choir – and four prep groups.

North Polk Comet Sensation

4A Final Results

GC: Ankeny “Visual Adrenaline” (BV/BC)

1RU: Valley “Choralation” (BB)

2RU: Indianola “Side One”

3RU: Des Moines Christian “Light, Inc.”

4RU: Liberty “Storm”

5RU: Southeast Polk “RAMification”

With a finals field like this, it’s so hard to believe that this was the competition in the Des Moines area that drew less headlines this weekend. Yet due to the stacked nature of the area, this is the situation North Polk found itself in. The competition announced placements for all eleven 4A choirs at prelim awards, and Choralation found itself on the top of the stack. That wound up flipping for finals, with Ankeny coming through to take both major captions and a second win this season to remain undefeated. Valley now has two second-place finishes on the year, and Indianola took another step towards proving that it can play with the big dogs by placing on the podium in a stacked competition. Des Moines Christian was the winner of the lower divisions and showed that they belonged, beating two 4A choirs. Rounding out finals was one of Iowa’s budding show choir rivalries, Liberty and Southeast Polk. After Liberty edged SEP by the slimmest of margins here last year, the two choirs remained close in 2024, this time in fifth and sixth. The online chirping between members of both choirs didn’t stop after the competition, and the next matchup between the two choirs will be an interesting one to observe. Lewis Central would’ve made finals if it was only open to 4A choirs, placing sixth in division prelims. Dowling Catholic, Ottuma and Dallas Center-Grimes were the next three choirs out.

3A/2A Final Results

1st: Emmetsburg “High Voltage”

2nd: Van Meter “Vocal Locomotion”

3rd: Sprit Lake “Music Factory”

4th: Denison “Singing Ambassadors”

5th: Belmond-Klemme “10th Avenue Singers”

Taking a page out of Indiana’s book, North Polk ran a separate small-group competition in a separate venue and had a separate set of finals as well. While this one was a little bit of a lighter field – eight groups for five spots compared to 11 for six in the main venue – it still gave several groups an opportunity to shine that they otherwise would not have. After a second-place finish at Atlantic last season, Emmetsburg broke through to become the small finals champion here, a big accomplishment for the Brandt Roskens-led group. After streaky placements the past couple years, Van Meter won the 2A division in prelims and parlayed that into a second place in finals. Spirit Lake and Denison also represented the 3A field, while Belmond-Klemme was second in 2A and beat 3A choirs Carroll and Atlantic to make finals. It’s the first finals appearance of any kind for BK, which started competing in 2016 under the direction of current North Polk director Zach Howell.

Urbandale Show Choir Invitational Final Results

GC: Linn-Mar “10th Street Edition” (BV/BC)

1RU: Johnston “Innovation”

2RU: Waukee “Millennium” (BB)

3RU: Johnston “Synergy”

4RU: Grand Island “Ultimate Image”

5RU: Waukee “Spirit”

The 41st USCI had a somber shadow over it, as the J-Hawk program mourned the loss of middle school director Matthew Harper. HRSC continues to send its well wishes and prayers to everyone affected by the loss. While only four high school programs entered the competition, three of them were titans and legends of Iowa show choir. Linn-Mar hadn’t lost since before the pandemic, Johnston hadn’t lost since early 2022, and Waukee continues to be a threat wherever they go. In the end, 10th Street picked up a key victory, taking home the vocals and choreography captions. While it may not have been as close as their win at Show Choir Nationals last season, it certainly had to have been in the ballpark, as Johnston has been just as red-hot these past couple seasons. While Waukee didn’t upset either of the top two, they did snag the band caption, which is Millennium’s second of the year. Johnston Synergy did break some placings up, scoring above Grand Island, the lone out-of-state program that came to Urbandale. From here, 10th Street goes to Cedar Rapids Kennedy, Johnston goes to Davenport Central and Waukee goes to Davenport West.

While Iowa may not have as many premier showdowns this next weekend, it still has four competitions and a deluge of storylines! Be on the lookout for more Iowa content coming from HomeRoom Show Choir later in the week.

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