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Show Choir Kindness Shines at Center Grove

When a powerful snowstorm swept through central Indiana on Friday afternoon, it was evident that travel would be a challenge for many groups competing across the Hoosier state the following day. With travel advisories still active for several counties across the Indianapolis metro area, groups made their way onto the roads carefully.

On the 140-mile journey from Fort Wayne to Greenwood, Carroll’s trailer full of equipment slid off the road. When Carroll’s buses arrived at Center Grove High School a few hours later, Carroll was left with just their costumes, which Carroll parents had transported from the immobilized trailer. Elly Kingsbery, a sophomore in Carroll’s girls' group, Select Sound, explained just how dire Carroll’s situation was.

“Carroll had no instruments, backdrops, or props,” Kingsbery said. “[Select Sound's] show focuses a lot on that stuff. It was stressing everyone out.” 

With just hours before Select Sound was scheduled to perform, the group was in a tough situation. While the student band still had their instruments, which were fortunately on the bus, the group was left without a piano or drums. Additionally, the group did not have their hand-painted backdrops or larger props, which immerse audiences into the settings of their shows.

With the compassion of host Center Grove and competitor Franklin Central, Carroll was able to perform with many of the bells and whistles that make a show choir show so special. Center Grove provided their video screen with clips they quickly found on competition day as well as chairs and rope for Select Sound to use. Finally, these groups provided a synth cart, piano, and drums for Carroll. Kingsbery expressed just how thankful she was for Center Grove and how their assistance allowed their group to take the stage with regained confidence.

“Center Grove collected chairs and a rope for us to use,” Kingsbery said. “They also put their backdrop up for us. It really gave us some of our confidence back. We all are just very thankful for CG!”

That level of compassion is one featured prominently in Carroll Magic’s show this year. Set in a western town, the main character is left for dead following an ambush by cowboys, who mock the wounded traveler. Left all alone and with nowhere to turn, the weary traveler is saved by the compassion and assistance of one concerned stranger.

Carroll Magic performs at Center Grove Best of the Midwest (Photo by Nathan Ensley)

Similarly, that compassion was shown toward Carroll on Saturday. When they arrived without their equipment, they were the weary traveler in need of assistance, which they portrayed in their show. Sometimes, it takes just the care of one person to make a difference. In this case, it was the compassion of two groups. Both Franklin Central's and Center Grove's tech crews banded together to assist Carroll and ensure they could put on the best show possible.

Following the event, one of Carroll’s directors, Jill Jeran, expressed her gratitude via the Facebook group Show Choir Kindness.

Many thanks to our friends at Center Grove and Franklin Central for helping us out at the competition today! Directors, parents, crews, and students went out of their way to provide everything we needed when our trailer full of equipment slid off the road. We showed up to compete with only our costumes, and they provided everything else! We are so thankful for a show choir family like this!”

Fortunately, Carroll’s backdrops were recoverable, and they will be able to use them for their competition this weekend at the Ross Legacy Championship.

What's the takeaway from this situation?

Show choir is so much more than the competition itself. It’s about sharing an art form we all find so special. It’s about performing and giving your all on the stage. When a group is unable to perform their best, we help them out because we want to see them perform to their full potential - exactly what happened this past weekend. As the season continues, I hope that show choir kindness will continue to take center stage.

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