Show choirs stun crowd at Harrisonville, bring home awards


Sophomore Megan Kelly stands proud during her solo in “Brave”, a ballad in Satin N Lace’s show. The song, already hauntingly beautiful, is made unforgettable by Kelly’s performance.

Lauren Puckett

Sophomore Megan Kelly stands proud during her solo in “Brave”, a ballad in Satin N Lace’s show. The song, already hauntingly beautiful, is made unforgettable by Kelly’s performance. photo by Asa Lory
They were words every show choir member heard on a daily basis: “Put all your energy into this show. You don’t know what might happen next.”
But on Saturday, Feb. 11, the words, spoken by Music Director Mike Pierson, made all the difference.
That morning, the Rock Bridge Show Choirs, Satin N’ Lace and City Lights, geared up for yet another shot at a Grand Champion trophy.
On their way to Harrisonville in a cloud of hairspray, Pierson said they were “hungry for a win.”
After the choirs’ first competition at Pleasant Hill, where Satin N’ Lace placed fourth overall and City Lights did not place in finals, each choir anticipated another bolder try.
Satin N’ Lace took the stage first, rolling out the gold dresses and top hats to show a little bit of “girl power.”
“Compared to last time, we all think that we did a better job,” junior Sarah Pritchett said. “And I think we’re more confident than we were last time. We’ve been cleaning the show like crazy and going through every motion twenty times in order to improve. I think there is this bit of pressure, though, because there’s a slight expectation for us to make finals and we’re a little more hopeful this time.”
While the general response from the girls was the show “went really well,” there were several little mishaps here and there that led to laughter and teasing once everyone was off-stage. One universally enjoyable moment for many of the girls was when senior Spenser Crum lost both shoes onstage, and was forced to sing her solo completely barefoot.
“First off, I think someone was in my spot so I moved to a different spot,” Crum said. “And [senior Annie Phillips] didn’t realize I moved to a different spot, so I tripped over her foot and my shoe flew off. So for the whole time before my solo, I danced with one shoe. And then right before the solo, I kicked the other shoe off because then it would look like I did it on purpose.”
While worrying about whether these mistakes would affect their score, Satin N’ Lace visited their clinician, who gave advice and tips to help improve the show. Making comments about steady arms and consistent vocals, the clinician said the missing shoes worked just fine within the show.
“I was so excited,” Crum said, “because I knew she knew my shoe just came off, and I couldn’t help it, but she was like, ‘No, no, no, it worked fine.’ So I was like, ‘Okay, good, it wasn’t a problem.’”
The choirs spent the rest of the day watching others perform and spending time bonding in their homeroom, making videos and taking naps before the performances at the end of the day. City Lights walked onstage at 6:00 p.m., the last preliminary performance, ready to “do so much better than at Pleasant Hill,” as Junior Eryn Wanyonyi said.

After an energetic performance before a full-house crowd, both choirs crammed into the gymnasium to hear the finals announcements. Both City Lights and Satin N’ Lace were called to be finalists, with Satin N’ Lace taking first in the preparatory division, and City Lights claiming second in the large 5A division.

Rushing back to the homerooms to prepare, choir members snacked on mini peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and granola bars for a little extra energy before the show. After a long day of little sleep and high tensions, several students were dehydrated and dazed, caught up in the overwhelming energy of competition.
For senior Dakotah Cooper, his entire finals performance was affected.
“I remember getting really, really excited in the practice room where we were warming up at,” Cooper said, right after City Lights finished their finals show. “There was a lot of pressure and build up, and we all just started to dance backstage before the curtain came up to get pumped. I heard ‘Rock Bridge City Lights’ announced, the curtains opened and everything just went blank. I don’t remember performing whatsoever. I remember thinking about storms, because, last year, when we were at Harrisonville, Pierson told us we needed to be as crisp and sharp as lightning. And that’s literally the only image I remember from the whole thing.”
Whether this was a product of exhaustion or excitement, Cooper’s thoughts of lightning must have paid off. When awards were finally announced around midnight, it was time for Rock Bridge to take the stage and claim some trophies. Satin N’ Lace finished the night with the Best Costuming award and fourth place overall. City Lights won Best Band, then sat and waited for the announcement as to who would be named Grand Champion.
The judge paused on-stage, pursing his lips and staring down at the paper in his hand. After a moment of tense silence, he raised the microphone and told the audience that, for the first time that he could remember, there was a three-way tie for Grand Champion. The tie-breaker was vocals, putting Rock Bridge in third place, Oak Park in second and Pleasant Hill as Grand Champions.
Despite the unusual scores of the day, every choir was completely celebratory of the other, hugging and laughing with friends from other schools, creating an unspoken decision that everyone was taking home the Grand Champs trophy.
“I feel like everyone did a fantastic job. I’m so proud of everyone,” Pritchett said, before boarding the bus home. “It’s been an amazing day. I’ve just enjoyed meeting so many different people and making friends with everyone. Whatever happens, that’s what’s so great about show choir—you meet so many great people every single time.”
By Lauren Puckett