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The grand finale of 2014:
FAME's Show Choir National Finals






FAME's Show Choir National Finals takes place this weekend in Chicago, IL.

By Kevin Breazeale
Published: Apr 23, 2014


CHICAGO, Illinois — The stage is set and groups are making final preparations, packing their costumes, and boarding planes, trains, and automobiles as they embark on a journey to FAME’s Show Choir National Finals this weekend. 18 show choirs from coast to coast (and even Canada!) will all be vying for the prestigious Show Choir Cup this weekend in Chicago, Illinois. “It all leads up to this… Our kids are so excited and we’ve been working so hard,” says director Rick Lunt from Spanish Fork, Utah’s American Leadership Academy. Lunt’s group was named Grand Champion at FAME’s first regional qualifier in Hollywood, besting other well-known groups and taking home best visuals and best band amongst several other captions. “We have worked very hard, and though we don’t get out and compete as often as many of the schools throughout the Midwest, we hope to surprise a lot of people (and the judges, he adds) as a force to be reckoned with!”

Also joining the National Finals line-up from FAME Hollywood is Brea Olinda High School’s “Masquerade” from Brea, California, as well as their show-stopping women’s group “Spellbound,” both of whom will no doubt be serious contenders at this weekend’s event as well. Noticeably absent is 2nd runner-up Bonita Vista High School’s “The Music Machine” and their girls’ group “Sound Unlimited” from Chula Vista, California, who made every effort to make it to the finals round, but couldn’t quite make it happen with an already-planned trip to Boston earlier in the season.

Other notable finalists include Twinsburg High School’s “Great Exectations” from Ohio, Mt. Zion High School’s “Swingsations” from Illinois, Hasting High School’s “Riverside Company” from Minnesota, and Lincoln Southwest High School’s “Resonance” from Nebraska - all of whom were named Grand Champions at their respective regional qualifiers. “We’re very excited that 5 of our GC’s from the series are in attendance, but the lineup goes way beyond that,” says FAME Vice President Bert Johnson. “The really exciting thing about an event like the National Finals is that the top groups from several different regions of the country all get to meet up and go head to head, in many cases, for the first time EVER. With so many great groups in attendance, I personally think it will be a close battle to see who comes out on top.”

The field also includes groups from Davenport Central (Iowa), Janesville-Craig (Wisconsin), Uniondale (New York), Petal (Mississippi), Homestead (Indiana), Tupelo (Mississippi), and Findlay (Ohio). In total, 18 different groups representing 9 different states will be in attendance.

Two interesting additions to this year’s National Finals come from our neighbors to the north. “SPLASH” and “GLO” from Etobicoke School of the Arts in Ontario, Canada, each qualified at FAME Chicago and are returning to Chicago in hopes of grabbing a top spot in either the Mixed or Single-Gender division (or both!). Having recently grabbed top honors at the Show Choir Canada Nationals, both of these groups are coming hot off big wins and looking to capitalize on their momentum. Renown choreographer Damon Brown, who recently judged Show Choir Canada Nationals, had this to say about these groups: “It was inspiring to see excellence in show choir crossing the border into Canada! These kids were amazing singers and dancers, and are going to represent their country incredibly well at FAME’s National Finals.”

In addition to the fantastic groups in attendance, the judging panel is also notably impressive: Pete Eklund (Nebraska), Linda McEachran Southard (Illinois), Eric VanCleave (Indiana), Dan Scoville (California), Jonathan McKenzie (Mississippi), Jarad Voss (Indiana), and Earl Hurrey (Washington, DC) make up the elite list. “We are thrilled with the knowledge and the well-roundedness of this panel,” says FAME Festival Director Chad Alexander. “Moreover, we made sure that none of the panelists have judged any of our regional qualifiers so we have fresh, new faces for these groups. It’s a really great panel.”

The event promises to be an exciting one from all angles. In addition to the national finalists, the 2014 ASPIRE AWARDS will be handed out live on stage. The live webcast will also feature live interviews from the red carpet, backstage, and in the VIP lounge, and 3-year veteran Bryden Brett will once again serve as emcee for the event and entertain audiences between performances. The Show Choir National Finals take place this weekend at the Arie Crown Theatre in Chicago, Illinois. For pricing, directions, webcast, and more info log on to www.showchoirs.org!





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