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Kayla Shue departs Logan; Adam Carty steps in

Updated: Aug 22, 2022

LA CROSSE, WISCONSIN – A crosstown move headlines (so far) the summer in the Wisconsin show choir circuit.

Adam Carty has moved from a co-directing position of La Crosse Central High School’s show choir to the director of Logan High School’s show choir program, also located in La Crosse.

He replaces Kayla Shue, who departs from the program after directing for eight years, the first two of those while she was a student at Viterbo University in La Crosse. Shue, also a Logan grad, took the helm of the program from 2012 to 2013 and then again from 2017 to 2022. She led the varsity choir, The Class Act, to a four-win season in 2019 behind a zombie-themed show that included a split-caption decision over the Onalaska Hilltoppers at Holmen. Logan’s all-female group, Classy Ladies, was a staple of womens divisions throughout Wisconsin until it did not return following a 2021 season where Logan did not compete.

"I am very excited to be a part of this program," Carty told Barstool Show Choir in a statement. "I am fortunate to be coming into a program with a lot of talented musicians and strong leaders. We had a very successful vocal camp, and I am confident that we will have a great season. I am hoping to bring some new ideas to the program while still keeping the important traditions and style that make Logan unique."

Carty will be stepping into the role of curricular director as well at Logan. While Shue directed the show choirs, Doreen Athnos directed the concert choirs. With the retirement of Athnos, Carty will helm all choral activities at the school. He comes to Logan from Longfellow Middle School, a feeder for La Crosse Central. In 2022, Carty directed Longfellow’s show choir, Junction, and co-directed Grand Central Station along with Central’s curricular choir director, Ian Schultz. Carty also previously was an assistant director for Holmen, his alma mater, while pursuing his music education degree at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. For this upcoming season, Erik Hall will choreograph for The Class Act, replacing Kevin Chase. Hall is half of the 5678-Showup duo with Kristina Sims and has acting credits in New York, among other places along with choreographing for a number of show choirs throughout the country.

The move comes as the future of both The Class Act and Grand Central Station hang in the balance. Due to declining enrollment, voters in the La Crosse School District will decide later this fall whether to combine its two high schools, Logan and Central. If approved, the district plans to build a new high school, although it is unknown whether it will keep the history of either high school or start anew entirely. Central and Logan have been two of the stalwarts of show choir in Wisconsin, with Central gaining nationwide notoriety under the direction of Mike Esser in the 1990s, 2000s and 2010s, while Logan has remained a perennial contender since the mid-1980s under a number of directors.

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