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Southern Show Choir Summer Newsletter


After a recent meeting this summer between the show choir directors of Mississippi, a couple of minimal but noteworthy changes come to the tier system in the Magnolia State. First, the tiers are receiving new names: Small Division will now be 1A, Middle Division will now be 2A, Large Division will now be 3A, and X-Large Division will now be 4A. Secondly, the tiers are also receiving a slight change in terms of the number of performers allowed per group in each individual category. 1A includes groups with 22 or fewer performers, 2A includes groups with 23 to 36 performers, 3A includes groups with 37 to 50 performers, and 4A includes groups with 51 or more performers.


As everyone knows, southern hospitality is more than just a phrase. It’s a way of living. With those manners in mind, I figured I would add an extra section in this article talking about a couple of important rules regarding southern show choir.


Rule #1: Look Good, Perform Better

Dress to the nines, on and off the stage. Growing up in the Southern circuit, specifically Mississippi, I (and every other student) was always told one thing when it came to our appearances for show choir competitions: “look professional at all times”. This motto applied as soon as we stepped off the bus and onto the host’s campus and held throughout the entire competition day. Guys typically wear full suits, polos, and button-down shirts while girls typically wear a mix of dresses, coats, and heels. Obviously, this is not anywhere near a complete list of Southern competition attire, but you get the gist. If you look good, you’ll do even better; this is clear for all to see in the Southern circuit.


Rule #2: Campus Talk

This was something my director DRILLED into my group personally, and I have talked to plenty of other students/alumni about it as well who were told the same thing. Do not, I repeat, do NOT talk about other groups and shows while at a competition, ESPECIALLY in the auditorium. Other than for the sake of common courtesy, I have heard of a few instances where judges have overheard a performer from one group make remarks about another. This would later come back and reflect on their scoresheet, much to the dismay of their own group. For your own sake, avoid doing this at all costs.


Rule #3: Ballad Hands

Listen. We all understand the energy that a good show choir moment brings. Cheers, claps, and shoutouts often find their way out during a show, and that’s all fine and dandy. However, the issue comes when this happens during intense and important vocal moments within a show, specifically during the ballad. There have been more than just a couple of recent instances where judges couldn’t hear vocal moments from a group because the crowd cheering overshadowed the quality that the vocal performance brought. While showing love to a group when they are on stage is perfectly okay and even explicitly encouraged, there is a right and wrong way to do so during vocal moments. The wrong way? To drown out the performers by screaming. The right way? The well-renowned handwave. It’s simple: if you hear something from a group that impresses you or that you like, make a blade with your hand, raise it, and start waiving it as you point it to the stage. It feels as if you were letting a car go ahead of you in traffic or if you were shooing a fly. While it sounds silly, the judges would MUCH prefer this quiet, yet clearly noticeable, form of appreciation as opposed to the loud screams of the past.


After a stellar first year at Jackson Academy and a captivating upset against Brandon in his second year on the job, news recently broke that Garrett Lindsey and JA have gone their separate ways. In the wake of this, JA promptly hired their new director Jacob Butzin, formerly of Ross High School and Brandon High School. Plenty of eyes will be on JA this upcoming season to see what kind of show and season Butzin produces considering his Midwest background and recent experience at Brandon.

Hunter Cannette, formerly of Northwest Rankin Middle, will take Butzin's role as head of the Brandon Middle show choirs.



In case you want to dive deeper into the world of Southern show choir, feel free to check out a handful of other outlets that you can indulge in! Bradley Davis, host of the “Southern Shows” podcast on Spotify, has plenty of coverage on past events that featured Southern groups as well as general topics involving Southern show choir. He also has an extensive catalog on SoundCloud from previous years if you are feeling extra curious. There’s also “The Warm-Up Room” podcast on Spotify and Instagram, offering similar coverage to that of Bradley but with different perspectives, featuring hosts Aiden Flowers and Dobbs Durkin. If you’re looking for something less informative and instead humor-based, feel free to check out Mississippi Show Choir Memes (@ms.showchoir.memes) and Alabama Show Choir Memes (@al.showchoir.memes), both available on Instagram.

Happy offseason everyone! Stay tuned into HomeRoom for more summer content to hold you over until the competition season starts!


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