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The Southern Show Choir Circuits: A Guide



What are the different regions and circuits within the competitive art known as show choir? It's a question that's been swirling for decades. At first, it seems to be a fairly simple question, but the further one dives into it, the more complex it gets. When deciding an answer, all of the following factors must be considered: individual groups, styles of a certain area, and geographical location. Throw in the fact that programs appear and disappear all the time, and establishing a certain circuit/region can become very tricky.

However, after consulting with a numerous amount of show choir alumni and experienced performers, we will be attempting exactly that. Here, we will be focusing on the Southern Region and the different embedded circuits within. Follow along as we explore the region and everything that comes along with it.



THE "SOUTHERN" REGION

The map above displays three different highlighted regions, as determined by our questioned interviewees: states with no competitive show choirs as of 2024 (black or "N/A"), Southern states (Red or "Southern"), and non-Southern states (Gray or "Others"). Based on that map, the Southern Region contains the following active states (in no specific order): Oklahoma, Texas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida. That gives the Southern Region a current total of seven states.



THE "SOUTHERN" CIRCUITS

As we all know, not every state in a region has the same style (among other things) as that of another. With that in mind, this brings up the topic of circuits. The map above displays the three unique circuits within the Southern Region, once again determined by our aforementioned interviewees: the Deep South Circuit (Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia), the Red River Circuit (Texas and Oklahoma), and the Southskirts Circuit (Tennessee and Florida). As each circuit has its own characteristics and quirks, we will dive into each of these in the following sections.


The "Deep South" Circuit

States: Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia

Highlighted Groups: Clinton "Attaché", Homewood "The Network" and Petal "Soundsations"

Characteristics: Full show design and choreography spectrum in use, less emphasis on vocal aspect

Overview: The "Deep South" Circuit is where, as Southern show choir figure Bradley Davis would put it, the "meat and potatoes" are. This is to say that this is where most of the Southern Region's heavy hitters and best shows come from. You have all-time great groups from this area like Clinton, Homewood, and Petal, all while featuring recent rising stars in groups such as Brandon, Oak Mountain, Grenada, and Tupelo. With a complete application of the entire spectrum of show design and choreography on display in this circuit, most every show (and competition for that matter) is promised to be energetic and keep the audience invested during its runtime. In contrast though, this region does not place as high of an emphasis on the vocal aspect as it does the choreography and show design, especially in comparison to vocal powerhouse regions such as the Midwest. This isn't the case for all however, (Clinton and Homewood for example), but it is an overwhelming and general trend among the Deep South groups.


The "Red River" Circuit

States: Texas and Oklahoma

Highlighted Groups: Keller Central "Voices of Central" and Broken Arrow "Tiger Rhythm"

Characteristics: A mix of Southern and Midwest show choir elements

Overview: While geographically placed in the Southern Region, the "Red River" Circuit is almost most certainly not a true-southern-styled circuit. Being isolated from both the heart of the Southern and Midwest Region, it has instead become a blend of the two, with its geographical location being the tiebreaker that placed it in the Southern Region. With this kind of a mixed-yet-certainly-individual style in mind, the "Red River" Circuit stands as a truly unique and individual section in the Southern Region of show choir.


The "Southskirts" Circuit

States: Tennessee and Florida

Highlighted Groups: Tarpon Springs "Syndicated Sound" and Bradley Central "Vocal Motion"

Characteristics: Small-scaled version of the "Deep South" Circuit, less heavy-hitters

Overview: The "Southskirts" Circuit is simply the area surrounding the "Deep South" Circuit that doesn't quite have the same amount of bite to it, but it still has the same general characteristics and style that the "Deep South" Circuit does. It has some competitive Middle and Small division groups (such as Tarpon Springs, Bradley Central, and Donelson Christian Academy), but it doesn't contain a single Large or Extra-Large group, much less a group that makes waves nationally. It's also worth noting that even though Louisiana, Arkansas, and South Carolina didn't have any active competing show choirs last year and therefore weren't eligible for regional/circuit selection, they would be placed into this circuit if that were to change, as they would all be in their developing stages. Former programs Franklinton (LA) and Lexington (SC) would be here.


While all three circuits of the South have their own styles and tendencies, they all combine to form one large and competitive Southern region - even creating some tantalizing matchups when circuits collide.

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