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2013 Season Standouts





Waubonsie Valley "Sound Check" at the 2013 Wheaton-Warrenville South Choral Classic. Photo by Kayla Shue

By Häakon
Published: Mar 10, 2013





Mark Myers, choral director at Waubonsie Valley High School.
LOS ANGELES, California — The third week of March is now upon us, and while show choir season officially lasts through the end of April, it's coming to a close for several groups across the country. With that in mind, we thought it appropriate to take a look back at some of the year's greatest moments and highlight some major achievements by groups from coast to coast.

It shouldn't come as a surprise, but the showdown that took place this weekend at Wheaton-Warrenville tops our list. Wheaton hosted an incredible competition with some of the biggest names in show choir in attendance, including Clinton, Waubonsie Valley, and Buffalo Grove. While nearly all predictions had Clinton taking home Grand Champion honors, it was Waubonsie Valley who dominated the day on the strength of their vocal power. This is significant on many levels; not the least of which is the fact that the group is only in their eighth year of existence. Rarely has a group ever achieved so much so quickly; in fact, in the last five years they have only missed first place on two occasions for a total of 18 GC trophies at 20 events. That's an even better record than Clinton in the same time period, who holds 14 wins at 16 events. It's close enough to call it a draw, but Clinton has a legacy going back decades.

Another reason it is significant is that Waubonsie's achievements represent a new era in the world of show choir. The level of ability, creativity, and depth that show choirs display is ever increasing, and with that has gone the time when one group completely owns the field. Don't misinterpret: Clinton is still a world-class show choir, and the scores at Wheaton were undoubtedly extremely close. But it wasn't a fluke. There is no longer a singular group who can be deemed "best in the nation" (despite what certain ranking sites may have you believe), but rather there's a top tier made up of a handful of groups like Waubonsie, Burbank, Buffalo Grove, John Burroughs, Wheaton-Warrenville, Carmel, and yes, Clinton themselves, who never lose competitions unless it's against each other. That means the playing field is expanding and shows are getting more exciting. Competitions are getting more unpredictable. As the years go on, more groups will enter into that collective, and things will only get better. It's a great time for show choir.

While it was Waubonsie who ultimately took the win, congratulations are in order for both groups; the results at Wheaton mark the end of a highly impressive 12 in-a-row GC streak for Clinton and cap off an undefeated season for Waubonsie. In order to be the best, you've got to beat the best, and Waubonsie have proven they've got what it takes.

Waubonsie isn't the only group without a loss this year, however; there are at least 7 other high-level show choirs across the country who have competed at least twice in 2013 and remain undefeated. Those choirs are the advanced mixed groups at Omaha Westside, Carmel, Clover Hill, Homewood, John Burroughs, Waukee, and Wheaton-Warrenville South. More competitions means more risk, and we salute those who continually put their name in the hat and can still hold the line.

Taking home first place awards isn't the only measure of a group's success, and in addition to vocal and dancing ability, show choir bands are an incredibly important part of the team. They are the foundation of a choir and can sometimes make the difference between a spot in finals or an early bus ride home. This year two bands in particular have shown they consistently have what it takes and have incredible records to show for it. Clover Hill High School's "Big Cheeks" is undefeated for an incredible three seasons running, while Solon's student combo is running an equally impressive 10-in-a-row best band streak. There's a lot of pressure to play to perfection, and groups that only use students get even more respect in our book. Congratulations to both schools.

While undefeated records are quite impressive, success comes in many forms. For some groups it's achieving a once seemingly insurmountable goal or just besting a rival for the first time. This year, several groups had personal firsts. At the East Noble competition this weekend, Anderson High School's "Vocal Infusion" took home their first-ever Grand Championship title after having merged with crosstown rival Highland High in 2010. At Prospect High School in Mount Prospect, IL, the "Mixed Company" show choir took home their first Grand Championship win since 2005 at Broadhead's invitational this Februrary. Muscatine's "River City Rhythm" had a personal triumph of not only taking home their first Grand Champion trophy since 2010 this year, but they did it by besting one of the top show choirs in the country: Mt. Zion "Swingsations." Finally, the "New Dimensions" from Clover Hill High School grabbed what is being touted as the first Grand Championship win in Indiana ever by a group from Virginia. We'd have to go through an awful lot of records to try to double-check the claim, but it's a victory in itself so we'll take it at it's word. For all of these achievements and to all of the other groups who made personal bests this year, we applaud you on your victories. Only one group can take first place at a competition, but we all get to share in the fun.

2013 sure has had a lot of high points, but it isn't over yet. There are a handful of major events still to come, including the Los Alamitos competition in California in two weeks and the FAME Nationals Show Choir Championship in April. As always, stay tuned to showchoir.com for the most complete show choir information anywhere, and follow us on Twitter @showchoirdotcom for breaking results and news.





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