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Show Choir Showdown

Lisa Chen, Sports Editor

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In 1975, Bishop Luers High School organized the first ever show choir competition in the country. For this reason, Fort Wayne, the home of show choir, boasts some of the best high school show choirs. Homestead’s own Class Royale, comprised of 48 students of both genders, lives up to this standard as a nationally ranked show choir. In addition to Class Royale, the unisex group, Elite, is made up of … girls. Anonymous Blue serves as the backup band for both show choirs.
In show choir, the performers combine elements of both singing and dancing, .
“I feel like there are a lot of misconceptions about show choir,” Aidan Ocken (11) said. “Ultimately, we’re just a advanced choir that uses choreography to help convey our message.”
This year’s Royale show consists of the songs “Feel It,” “Nobody,” “Caught in the Storm,” “Faith,” “Million Dollar” and “Atom Bomb.” Although the show is only 15 minutes, the choreography takes months to learn.
“We start to learn the choreography and vocals at the beginning of the [school] year and continue to clean and refine our show all the way through our last competition,” Ocken said. “We’re never perfect but we do our best to make our show the best it can be by the start of the season in Jan. and Feb.”
In order to combine the aspects of choreography with their singing, Class Royale brings in specialists from different areas.
“Our choreographer lives in Chicago so when he comes we usually stay after school three to four days a week until 9 p.m.,” Khira Hickbottom (11) said. “We do these kind of rehearsals about once a month until competition season starts in Jan.”
The practice Class Royale puts in has been paying off, and the group has experienced one of its most successful seasons this year.
“The season is going really well,” Ocken said. “We won grand champ at Northrop and we made night show at Dekalb, which is something Class Royale hasn’t done in eight years. I think the rest of the season is going to be just as great and I really look forward to it.”
Class Royale also swept the competition at Northrop High School, winning best choreography, best vocals and best band.
“Performing is the best part because all your work finally comes together into a cohesive show,” Jesse Majors (11) said.
Although the audience sees the performance away from the stage, the show choir enjoys different perspectives on stage.
“The actual performing and leaving everything on stage is really amazing,” Ocken said. “It’s hard to describe how it feels because it’s such a unique feeling, but I love it.”
The family bond of the performers creates an even more memorable season for the group.
“The group dynamic is really cool because we’re like a family and we all come together to achieve something much greater than what any of us could do as an individual,” Ocken said.
Not only do the performers become closer to each other, they meet show choirs from other schools.
“My favorite part about the competitions is getting to meet performers from other schools,” Hickbottom said. “The show choir community is very supportive, and I’ve gotten to make some very close friends through it.”
A unique part of this season is the national competition at the end of March in Nashville, Tenn. at the Grand Ole Opry, a historic stage for music. The show choirs travel to nationals every two years.
“I’m looking forward to nationals in Nashville because we get to compete against some of the best schools in the nation,” Majors said.
Overall, show choir produces an entertaining performance for all to enjoy.
“I would everyone that if they have the opportunity to join a show choir, they definitely should,” Hickbottom said. “It has changed my life for the better and I’m so grateful to have 47 people I know I can always rely on.”

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