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HRSC Large Mixed Indy Rankings Week 6

These rankings are a collection of HRSC's Indiana voters' four-member blind ballot designed to come to a consensus ranking. The panel ranks 30 groups across four divisions - large and small mixed and large and small single-gender. This is the large mixed ranking. March is upon us - it's now the stretch run of the season for each and every group.

 1. Center Grove Sound System (4 first-place votes, +1)

CG Sound System starts their set off strong at Franklin Central (Nathan Ensley)

This is arguably the most competitive Indy circuit in years and Center Grove went out and took that top spot. They snapped Carmel’s lengthy win streak, handing them their second loss in the post-COVID era. Unlike their win against Carmel in '22, Sound System’s formula felt different this time around. While in the past, they have been described as focusing on style and precision, there should be a new verb added for this year: passion. Sound System exudes it. When describing what made their final show so different than their prelim run, one of the main points is that viewers could feel the group's passion and drive through every chord and note. It was like they had found something that made them just want it more than anything, that they could push further than anyone that night - and that is why they took the Grand Championship. Now, they have an off week before they go out and compete on the national stage at a wildly competitive Wheaton Warrenville South competition. What's up next for CG? A well-deserved off-week before they run into the buzzsaw that is Wheaton Warrenville South.

2. Carmel Ambassadors (-1)

Carmel Ambassadors uses their tambourines to bring up the mood at FC (Nathan Ensley)

Sometimes, a group must face adversity to find out who they are. Carmel had a tough weekend by their standards, taking the best choreography and best show design captions ahead of Center Grove but failing to take home what would have been their eighth-straight win. However, that is not the worst thing for a group. The general sentiment from audience members this past weekend is that it was too close to call the winner. All of the show's hallmarks were still there; the ballad still brought tears to many eyes, the tambourine section made the audience want to get up and dance, and everyone wanted at the end to find a spot on a river somewhere to be happy. They will be a force to be reckoned with, but they must find that hype and drive to return to the top step weekly. This week, they will have a difficult challenge against the Counterpoints, who look stronger than in past seasons and will be looking to even the score on Carmel after placing behind the Ambassadors at Pike. North Central is a strong group that will capitalize on any Carmel falter, so Carmel better bring their A-game if they wish to retain their number-two spot.

3. Franklin Central F.C. Singers (No change)

FC Singers enters the dream at FC (Nathan Ensley)

Franklin Central would be at the top if this was a ranking for great competitions. Their two runs in exhibition on Friday and Saturday night were spectacular.  They soaked in the final energy and let the electric atmosphere flow through the choir. That energy, without the fear of placement, can lead to freedom often constricted by competition. A great example is at the end of the nightmare sequence in Enter Sandman. While in past competitions, soloist Ryan Barnes capped it off with a powerful vocal performance, he took a new approach to end off the section this time. Selling the rock portions, he scream-sang the words “off to never land” at the end of his Enter Sandman solo, which made it feel less like a bad dream and more like your worst nightmare. It was the nightmare had extended all the way from the show to the whole competition and everyone was trapped in FC's world until they decided to let us go. That change made the night on Saturday, and perhaps their show keeps evolving and growing over the next two weeks before they take the national stage at Heart of America Nashville on March 9.

4. Zionsville Royalaires (+1)

Zionsville pulls off a strong finish at Plainfield (Nathan Ensley)

Zionsville will look to make their mark this weekend with some of their toughest competition yet at South Dearborn before the stacked Wheaton Warrenville South competition in two weeks. The time is now for Royalaires to show that they are above everybody else in the field - next week will just be focused on making finals.

5. North Central Counterpoints (-1)

Soloist Jilayne Kistner sings in Counterpoints closer at CG (Nathan Ensley)

Counterpoints will look to rebound after a close loss to F.C. Singers last time out and hope to find a way to beat an extremely deadly group in Carmel this weekend at Lafayette Jefferson. Their group is excellent, and they have the strongest Counterpoints set in years. It just has coincided with some of the most challenging schedule NC has had since before the pandemic. This coming weekend will be a great test in general for them; they get to have another shot at Carmel and face another great out-of-state group in preparation for their final comp at Marysville.

6. Fishers Electrum (+2)

Electrum finishes their show strong at FC (Nathan Ensley)

Electrum launched itself into sixth following their statement performance at Franklin Central last week. The beginning of this season has seen them take on strong competition, and they faced some of their strongest of it thus far at FC. The top two were in a league of their own, but Fishers proved they belonged right alongside them on the finals stage, staving off Brownsburg, who took the vocal caption off Zionsville the week prior. This was a solid stand for them and a real confidence booster after facing some intense competition the past few weeks. Electrum can cement their spot with a grand championship this weekend against several groups in the Indiana top 10 at Avon.  

7. Plainfield Belles et Beaux (-1)

Plainfield performs at Plainfield (Nathan Ensley)

While this past weekend was an off-week for B&B, they dropped a spot to a resurgent Electrum.  They have a great opportunity in front of them at Avon, where the two groups will go head to head. If they can come out on top, they will be right back on the tail of the Power Five, adding more to what has been an impressive resume this season. 

8. Brownsburg Spotlight Singers & Company (-1)

Spotlight goes on the crazy train at FC (Nathan Ensley)

Brownsburg was a major part of the extremely competitive Franklin Central competition this past weekend and made the top four an exciting watch. SSC rounds out a trio of power players at Avon this weekend, where they will face the two groups directly ahead of them in these rankings - Plainfield and Fishers, the latter of whom barely beat Brownsburg for third last week.

9. Noblesville NHS Singers (NC)

NHS Singers turns back time at Fishers (Nathan Ensley)

Noblesville capped off their opening stretch of the season this week in grand fashion, taking seven out of nine captions at Huntington North on their way to their second grand championship of the season. This is the best way to enter a longer break, as the group will have plenty of confidence in the weeks of rehearsal ahead. So for now, well done on a great season, Noblesville - it's playoff time, so look towards the glory of Opryland. 

10. Carroll Magic (+1)

Carroll holding up their featured performer at CG (Nathan Ensley)

Carroll continues to face tough competition in their season, and their results reflect that. Despite frequently traveling out-of-area, Magic has held its own this season against several groups higher up on this list. They will stay local this weekend, facing off against ETC and others at Bishop Luers.

11.  Avon Accents (+1)

Avon performs their ballad at Plainfield (Nathan Ensley)

Avon captured their first Grand Championship of the season this past weekend and looks to be in solid form going into Heart of America Orlando. They have a great opportunity to come out on the national stage and make an impressive statement for the future of their choir and Indiana as a whole. 

12. Lafayette Jefferson First Edition (-2)

The first year under Mark Myers has had a few growing pains, but it is undoubtedly an improvement over last season. They have captured all podium finishes this season in competition with top-tier groups, even without some of their set this past week at Huntington North after a trailer crash. The group is on a rebuild and will probably this list in the coming years. 

13.  Chesterton Sandpipers (NC)

Chesterton will begin again at John Hersey in Illinois after a long hiatus of three weeks since their last time out. Hopefully, this will not impact them following their strong start, which saw them take two grand championships in Indiana and Wisconsin. Coming off this break, they will face some tough competition out-of-state, with two competitions in Illinois and one in Virginia coming up. They will likely be able to keep their strong season alive and add to their already-stellar reputation with a fun spelling bee-themed show.

14. Lawrence North Legacy (NC)

Lawrence North performs at Fishers (Nathan Ensley)

Lawrence North has been making a statement this season, putting in some solid results and staying close to tough competition all season long. This weekend, they will have an excellent opportunity to get a result against other solid Indy groups at the Avon Vocal Invitational. It will be a tough road of competition with only four finalists, but this year has been a solid step forward for the group. They will likely need to beat Lawrence Central and Castle for the final spot.

15. Northrop Charisma (New)

Northrop sets a strong tone at FC (Nathan Ensley)

While Northrop may not have the same resume as some of the other groups on this list, they remain one of the better groups by the eye test this season. This past week, they made the long trip to Indianapolis from Fort Wayne and made finals at Franklin Central. Their closer is a treat, and their bursting energy is something wonderful to see in an Indiana group. They have two competitions to close out the season, and the opportunity is there to make some noise.

Receiving Votes: Ben Davis Premiers, Castle Knight Sensations, Homestead Class Royale, Lawrence Central Central Sound

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