Show Choir decimates first competition of year


Abby Kempf

Senior Summer White hits the final pose of Satin n’ Lace’s opener. 
Yesterday’s Show Choir competition was the culmination of months of rehearsal. All those sweaty first hour classes following the early bird rehearsal time were well worth it though, as both City Lights, the mixed choir, and Satin n’ Lace, the all female choir, crushed the competition. City Lights won Grand Champion, first place, and Satin n’ Lace won first runner up, second place.

Show Choir winners
Junior Sarah Merrifield, a member of City Lights, and sophomore Andrea Baker, a member of Satin n’ Lace, hold their respective trophies after the competition yesterday. photo courtesy of Andrea Baker
“When we won the first thing that ran through my head was just to freak out,” junior City Lights member Ben Lopez said. “I was so happy that all of our hard work paid off. The countless hours and run-throughs of the show and how it all in that exact moment paid off [was amazing.]”
Senior Kelli Johnson, also a member of City Lights, agrees with Lopez, saying that winning affirmed what she already knew about the talent and quality of their show.
“Being a Grand Champion honestly just solidifies the thought that all the work you’ve put in has been worth something. It also comes with a level of professionalism because since we won, there are about 30 other choirs who didn’t,” Johnson said. “We usually don’t celebrate in the halls out of respect to the other choirs, which is definitely hard.”
Satin n’ Lace senior Jamey Jackson also felt the surge of excitement yesterday, leaving her barely able to contain her emotion after the two choir claimed the top places.
“It feels really great getting first runner up while City Lights got Grand Champion,” Jackson said. “There is no feeling greater than the feeling of success after all the hard work we put behind our performances and it also feels really great to be awarded and praised for it.”
A typical Show Choir competition day is packed. The students attend clinics, where professionals critique and help improve the shows after the students have performed. Then, the choirs deemed good enough move on to finals, Johnson said.
“Yesterday we competed for the first time, performing in the preliminary round around noon. Finalists were announced in the evening and both City Lights and Satin n’ Lace qualified, meaning one would perform first in finals and other would be last, since two choirs from the same school were finalists,” Johnson said. “City Lights performed first, so we were able to watch our competition’s shows. After Satin n’ Lace’s performances, the placements were announced starting with seventh runner up. When the announcer called the second runner up, everyone in RBHS Show Choir knew we had swept the competition.”
Junior Danielle Simpson sings her solo in the City Lights show. She plays the character Lise from ‘An American in Paris,’ trying to decide which man to cho0se. photo by Abby Kempf
But the overarching competition for Grand Champion isn’t the only thing competitors are aiming for. Satin n’ Lace member junior Janylah Thomas also won Best Performer, one of the caption awards. The caption awards stretch across all choirs competing and honor those who stand out for one individual aspect, such as Best Ballad, Best Costume Design and Best Solo. Thomas was shocked when her name was called for Best Performer, as she is not a soloist and is often placed near the back of formation because of her height.
“It was so surprising. It felt really good; I was so happy that someone recognized me because I didn’t really think that anybody actually watched me,” Thomas said. “I don’t really know what it takes to win, I just dance as if nobody is watching me and have fun because I’m doing what I love and I’m having fun.”
However, Lopez said that awards weren’t the only source of energy and excitement from yesterday. The sheer joy of performing and being surrounded by other students passionate about performance was fulfilling, Lopez said.
“I really loved seeing everyone else’s shows and costumes. I loved the feeling that I got looking out at the audience when we were performing,” Lopez said. “Seeing the faces of the other choirs watching our show [was great.] I also loved the feeling of hitting our last pose and hearing the thundering applause and loud cheers of the people watching our show.”
Although yesterday turned out perfectly, Jackson said it wasn’t all roses along the way. Several thorns stuck into the group, but the team persevered past these obstacles.
“The road getting here definitely hasn’t been easy. Besides all the tough hours of rehearsals we lost at least two members from each choir this year who had to drop out just before the competition season,” Jackson said. “It was an emotional time for several of us and a big setback for our choirs. But I am so proud of how we have been able to come out of that. I love both our shows this year and I am so proud of our performances yesterday at Pleasant Hill.”
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