Bruin show choirs host annual music festival

Lauren Puckett

Satin’n’ Lace, the all-girls show choir, performs its routine at its school premier Thursday, Jan. 12. Sophomore Sam Ryan and junior Alex Hutchinson pose in the middle of “Cowboy Casanova.” Photo by Jessica Jost

At approximately 12:30 a.m. Jan. 15, the annual RBHS Show Choir Festival finally came to a close; 13 visiting choirs rolled out of town on buses with make-up smeared on their tired faces. Many of them carried freshly polished, green and gold trophies.
The festival kicked off Saturday with the prep division, then went on to large division and women’s competitions. Schools from all around Missouri — from Pleasant Hill to Nevada—gathered to learn and compete, vying for the Grand Champion title.
Stage technicians had their hands busy all day, changing risers and moving sets, while the RBHS show choir students rushed about monitoring hallways, hosting choirs in the language and studies wings and helping to run the process run smoothly.
Despite some time difficulties — which set the schedule about an hour and a half behind —visiting choirs remained energetic and at the epitome of “glee.” Congregating in the Performing Arts Center, choirs sang and danced to anything from Grease’s “Summer Lovin’” to Nsync’s “Bye Bye Bye,” waiting for sets to be moved and final announcements to be made.
At the end of the day, finalists were announced and showcased their performance for second evaluations by the judges. After a lot of crazy costumes — including coat hangers for hats and studded belts for that extra sparkly effect — and some powerful vocal performances, the judges went off to evaluate and tally up points.
Meanwhile, the RBHS Show Choirs gave their own performances, allowing the other choirs a chance to see their future competition and their room hosts up on stage. Finally, everyone packed into the gym and winners were announced.
Each choir waited silently for Music Director Mike Pierson to announce the names of the winners, and eventually — after much caterwauling and jumping about the basketball court — the Oak Park “Oak Street Singers” were handed the Grand Champion trophy.
By Lauren Puckett