Thank you all for coming and for your feedback on the competition. We are always looking for input to make our show that much better. We are very happy that everyone had a great time in spite of the delay. It was a GREAT day of show choir and we are already looking forward and planning for next year!!
Alright so I made the trip to Marion Harding for finals and here were some thoughts based on order of appearance:
Ross "Rhythm and Motion" - Y'all have a cute show, there's no doubting that. Unfortunately, your band was really really loud and I couldn't hear you very well. I think the highlight was the Kids TV show theme song medley just for the sheer nostalgia. I forget where it was in the show, but there was an awkward moment after y'all hit your final pose of the song and a singer kept moving and grabbed for the microphone. It didn't feel or look right. The ballad also had some good vocal moments as that was one of the few times the balance between band and singers was good. Overall, congrats on making finals!
Capital "Voices in Perfection" - I think when you use a recycled show, the hope is that no one in the circuit has seen the original show. I was a really big fan of Bonita Vista's show last year, so unfortunately for me, this show didn't do too much for me. I don't feel like, in a design sense, y'all did anything to differentiate yourselves with the same repertoire, same closer costumes (which won best costumes), and similar blocking and choreography. The ballad was performed really really well. I loved that ballad mashup with Bonita Vista and I enjoyed it with Capital too. Similar to Ross, there was an awkward moment I think during the closer where someone came running on stage during the song and literally had to run across the back of the risers...perhaps have them join in from the back of the risers? The closer was fun and high energy as it should be, but it didn't really have the right look with chess pieces as your background. The set was cool, don't get me wrong, but it was kind of distracting with the bright flashing lights on the cards backdrop in the first half of the show. It didn't really add anything other than being distracting. Overall, the show was fun. I'm willing to bet folks in the WV/OH circuit that haven't seen Bonita Vista's show will think it's really fresh.
Piqua "The Company" - This wasn't the Piqua folks have become accustomed to (in a good way). Y'all were STUNNING stripped down without the set and you all performed your hearts out. So much good and happy energy! I absolutely adored the girls opener dressers... they are so elegant! I thought your vocals and soloists were really good and the different order of songs worked out well. I look forward to seeing who y'all do the rest of the season!
ETC "The All Americans" - I loved your show last year and I love it again this year. That opener, though, is really the highlight of the entire show. WOW. I was blown away from the very beginning. The "I Surrender" soloist was hauntingly GOOD. Dang, it was so good. And pairing it with "The Great Escape"... I was so done. I remember listening to Boys Like Girls in high school and loving that album. Y'all had A LOT of singers on stage. It almost looked cramped at times with the blocking, but I guess that happens with 56 folks. Some of the sight lines and visuals just looked a little muddy. I maybe expected a bit more out of "Uptown Funk". I think y'all fed off the crowd during that song, which the crowd loved it, but I think it could be enhanced with a more intentional layout. Overall, I liked the first half a lot more. The energy, though, y'all have it! It was so enjoyable seeing you all kill it on stage. I REALLY hope to run into you guys again this season!
Marysville "Swingers Unlimited" - This is the show I was waiting for and it didn't fail to deliver. The emotion, diction, and sheer power of that opener was overwhelming in the best way possible. I don't know what it was, but "Shadows of the Night" was ELECTRIC. Maybe it was the singing-like-a-vampire bit. Very cool. I've said this before and I'll say it again, but the ballad just SO does it for me. It's such an unlikely pairing and it's just unbelievably good and fitting for the show. The second half of the show where y'all transitioned to the more party-like, upbeat side of things was excellent. It raised the energy level immensely without losing focus of the story. The visuals in the second half were outstanding. The colorful costumes, the high energy choreography, and the bright backdrop lights. The new light set up is really cool too. I don't know what else to say about this show other than it's simply really really enjoyable and really really good. The entire show design is so well developed and is delivered in such a captivating way. I'm a HUGE fan!
I did not see Lebanon as I left early due to the impending snow storm. Not to mention the competition was behind schedule. Few thoughts on the competition... the Marion Harding gym is a pretty cool place. I was kind of surprised how empty it was during Finals though. Perhaps the weather. I understand competitions run behind, but it would've been nice for everyone involved to see Marion Harding try to shave time off whenever possible. I mean it was an hour and a half, nearly two hours, behind schedule. With two host performances and drawn out awards, I think things could've been more efficient. I also understand a lot of the stuff was out of Marion Harding's control and this is only their second year hosting a competition. So I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt that they were doing their best to put on a fantastic competition. The only other thing I would note, y'all absolutely need to do something about that upper level of the gym where the judges were. Students were slamming that door and jumping from bleacher to bleacher causing an insane amount of noise during the finals performances. It was incredibly obvious and noticeable. It was so distracting and those students were being blatantly rude. Perhaps next year have a volunteer up there by the door so it doesn't slam closed or do something to better manage that.
Overall great job to Marion Harding, the participating schools, the judges, families, etc. for sticking out this long day. I think the judges made a good final decision. Obviously didn't see Lebanon, but I would've had the other 5 in that same order. I hope everyone made it home safe and had a great time!
Also thanks to the SCC gang (Chad, Patrick, Bryan) for letting me hang out with you!
Not knowing what ETC is going to look like, my predictions are:
GC- Marysville BC/BB
1ru- ETC BV
4ru- St. C
Total guess on captions!
ETC could very well claim the top spot too. I think it will be very close. And not forgetting about Piqua, I wouldn't be surprised if they have kicked it up a notch since last week. All three group are dangerous! It'll be an exciting day!