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Feb. 3 Ohio and West Virginia Preview

This Saturday, February 3, there are two major competitions taking place in Ohio and West Virginia that are attracting a variety of groups from across those states. 

Hurricane Red Hot Championship 

Large Mixed - Huntington “Illusions,” Manchester “Capital Swing,” Solon “Music in Motion,” Robert C. Byrd “Vocal Intensity” 

Middle Mixed - Portsmouth “Expressions,” Kenton “Top Twenty,” Twinsburg “Great Expectations,” Nitro “Showcats,” Medina “Encore Entertainment Company”

Small Mixed - Buffalo “Show Time,” Ripley “Phoenix Blue,” Teays Valley “Prominent Rendition,” Capital “Voices in Perfection” 

Single Gender - Teays Valley “Glamorous Edition,” Cabell Midland “Rhythm in Red,” Nitro “Tomcats,” Manchester “Touch of Swing” 

Hurricane’s competition continues its tradition of attracting excellent groups from three different states. The Large Mixed division features a showdown between Solon, a top Ohio group fresh off of a win at Findlay, against Manchester, one of the better groups from Virginia. Perennial West Virginia contender Robert C. Byrd and upstart large mixed group Huntington are thrown in for good measure. Middle Mixed features Nitro, looking to bounce back after their third-place finish in Small Mixed at Winfield last weekend, going up against Medina, fresh off of their win at North Royalton. That division also features 2022 Ohio small mixed breakout group Kenton; Twinsburg, a group that seems to be getting the hang of small mixed if their 2nd place in the division at Findlay is anything to go by; and Portsmouth. 

Typical for a West Virginia competition, Small Mixed also looks to be fairly competitive. Teays Valley, a perennial Ohio small mixed contender, will be making the trip down, and they will be going up against Ripley, competing for the second time in their return season, and West Virginia legacy choirs Capital and Buffalo. The Single-Gender division also looks fairly competitive, featuring Teays Valley’s womens’ group, fresh off of a finals placement at North Royalton, Cabell Midland fresh off a finals placement at Winfield, Nitro’s mens’ group, which did not make finals at Winfield, and Manchester’s womens’ group, making their season debut.  

Marion Harding Singsational  

Large Mixed - Mayfield “Limited Edition,” Lebanon “Singers,” Naperville North “Entourage,” Marysville “Swingers Unlimited” 

Middle Mixed - River Valley “Music Company,” Benjamin Logan “Standing Ovation,” Piqua “The Company” 

Small Mixed - Milton-Union “Center Stage,” Elgin “Energizers,” Crestview “Knight Vision,” Norwood “The Silhouettes,” Poca “Visual Volume,” St. Clairsville “St. C Singers” 

Womens’ Division - River Valley “New Addition,” Naperville North “High Heeled Harmony” 

Middle School Division - River Valley “Revolution,” ETC “Main Street Singers,” Bunsold “Mini Swingers”

It’s rare for top Ohio groups to go up against top Illinois groups, and so this matchup between Marysville and Naperville North ought to be interesting. Marysville might have a slight edge coming off of their win at Winfield, given that they have already competed and have won Marion Harding every year since the pandemic. They are joined in Large Mixed by Mayfield, making their 2024 competitive debut after hosting a noncompetitive festival a few weeks ago, and Lebanon, competing here in Large Mixed after earning 3rd in Small Mixed at Findlay. 

Middle Mixed also looks to be quite interesting as a battle of third-place finishers, with Benjamin Logan and River Valley both having finished in third in small mixed at their last competitions (Beavercreek and North Royalton respectively), while Piqua is coming off a 3rd place finish at Findlay and is looking for another podium finish here. Small Mixed also looks intriguing, with Poca coming off a commanding win in small mixed at Winfield, St. Clairsville looking for a rebound after not making finals at Winfield, and a rematch of Elgin and Milton-Union from Beavercreek, with Norwood and Crestview thrown in for good measure. 

The womens’ division features Naperville North’s womens’ group making their season debut against River Valley’s womens’ group continuing their debut season, fresh off a second place in single gender at North Royalton, where they also won Best Vocals. Finally, the Middle School division features ETC’s middle school group making their season debut against Bunsold, who is coming off a commanding division win at Winfield. They are joined by River Valley’s middle school group, who performed as the only group in their division at North Royalton. 

Smaller Competitions 

This weekend, two smaller competitions will be taking place in Ohio and West Virginia. The first is Walsh Jesuit’s annual Great Lakes Invitational, which is a one and done featuring only five choirs due to OMEA contest being this weekend as well. The five groups are: 

  • Buckeye Valley, 2023’s Ohio small mixed breakout group

  • Jonathan Alder, in their last competition of the season, coming off of a 6th place finish in Small Mixed at Findlay 

  • North Royalton, making their season debut after hosting their inaugural Showdown last weekend 

  • Strongsville, coming off of a 5th-place finish in finals at North Royalton 

  • Garfield Heights, coming off of a 3rd-place finish in finals at North Royalton 

Garfield Heights enters as the probable favorite to win, but any one of these groups could make a strong showing and come out on top. 

The other small competition is the Grafton Choral Classic in West Virginia, which returns to a competitive format after being noncompetitive in 2023. This lineup features only four groups, which are: 

  • Doddridge County, coming in as the probable favorite to win after not making finals last weekend at Winfield

  • North Marion, making a triumphant return to show choir after being on hiatus since 2017 

  • South Harrison, making their 2024 season debut 

  • Martinsburg North Middle School, a program that returned in 2023 after having been on hiatus since 2017 and is competing outside of Martinsburg for the first time ever 

Doddridge County is the only one of these groups to have won a competition since the pandemic, picking up their first win ever at Robert C Byrd last year, and thus they enter as the favorites to win. Still, North Marion or South Harrison could pull off a surprise, making this competition one to watch as well. 

Groups Competing Outside the Region - 

This weekend also features a number of Ohio and West Virginia groups competing outside of those two states at two competitions in Indiana. Here are the competitions to which they will be going: 

  • Homestead - Fairfield’s mixed group, Winfield’s mixed group, and Findlay will be joining the competition in Large Mixed where they will go up against groups like Peoria, DeKalb, and Carroll. In Small Mixed, Edgewood (OH), Herbert Hoover, and Sissonville will be joining the competition against groups like Churubusco and Columbia City. Finally, in Large Single Gender, Winfield’s and Fairfield’s womens’ groups will be going up against womens’ groups from Carroll and Huntington North, making this an exciting competition across divisions. 

  • Edgewood - Beavercreek “Friends” will be joining the competition at Edgewood once again this year after winning the competition last year. In Large Mixed, they will be going up against Northrop and Plainfield, which should be an exciting matchup to see. 

And with that, the playing field is set for this weekend of Ohio and West Virginia show choir! Make sure to come back next week for analysis of the results, and make sure to follow HomeRoom Show Choir throughout the season for updates and information about all your favorite groups and regions!

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