I decided to make the quick trip over to Cuyahoga Falls and it was really wonderful seeing the daytime performances. The folks at Walsh Jesuit were doing a FANTASTIC job hosting their first ever invitational. Everything in the lobby/cafeteria was very organized and volunteers looked stoked to be there. Hats off to them!
Few notes on choirs I saw in order of performance:
Twinsburg Mood Swingers - Literally saw your show twice in a 48-hour period. Total fanboy. I was really impressed how full your sound was. I imagine your vocal score rivaled some of the smaller mixed groups. The thigh masters, spandex, and overall exercise/gym show design was hilarious and cute.
Teays Valley - I told Rian I think this was the first time I've seen your group live in a decade since y'all used to dominate Wapak's Music & More. I'll be honest, I didn't fully understand the backdrop, branches, and all that going on, but I thought it was sharp choreography. Good showing.
Brush - I enjoyed your opener - Sing is such a fun song. Y'all had real good energy.
Wapak - The Peter Pan theme was so very cute. I'm surprised how small of a choir it is and it almost felt like a women's choir as there aren't many boys and the entire choir didn't seem to be all on the stage and singing at the same time much. I'll also admit I wasn't a huge fan of the chairography. Song choices were really great, soloists killed it, and the Peppers sounded awesome! Wendy was phenomenal and I heard she won best soloist - congrats! Lots of potential, not bad for the first time out. Best of luck this season!
Buckeye Valley - You were genuinely my biggest surprise of the day. The strength you had vocally was stunning for such a small group. I thought you had the best sound up until that point. It was so controlled with great dynamics. I expected to see you in finals after that performance. Congratulations, you earned it! First finals in 7 years, I can’t imagine how excited y’all were.
Churubusco - Honestly, everything was amazing. This was my first time seeing you live since 2008 and I was so excited to watch since you’ve been slaying the game and grown so much. I literally have no idea how such a small school has such a large choir and close to 20 boys? Holy crap. Other schools need to take notes. Big kudos to the Busco vocal program. Anyways to the show, y’all had a level of energy and refinement that was unmatched during prelims. The opening was SO strong. Even the boys/girls numbers were really killer and those are often weaker points of shows. The crowd was living for the boy’s One Wild Night. The costuming, show theme, effects, and blocking were all great. It was a small stage that many groups struggled with, but despite being the largest competing choir your staging looked great and I'm sure that mic stand recovered quickly. I very much enjoyed your visuals and overall show. You were my favorite of the day. Best of luck this season, I’ll certainly be rooting for you!
I took a lunch break and missed Mayfield and Strongsville.
Southwestern - I liked your backdrop and thought your choreography was really precise. Very well executed and high energy. Vocals weren’t as strong as other groups, and similar to Wapak, I imagine that hurt you. I still thought you might make finals, but alas Strongsville surprised me in that regard.
Garfield Heights - Y’all have a very distinct style and I love it. The entire set and show design was certainly a crowd pleaser and your song choices were very contemporary. There were great visual moments, though I certainly thought your vocals stole the show. The sound was great in that small auditorium. Every single soloist killed it - I was sitting next to a Garfield Heights parents crew and they were so proud. I especially enjoyed the ballad arrangement and Try Everything. Congrats on taking it to another level in Finals!
Walsh Jesuit - Great job hosting, and what a wonderful host performance. Y’all have changed some things up since Marysville I think. The Y2K Millennium theme is pure nostalgia. I was living for the denim, velvet, hair scrunchies, and side ponies. Add in some Prince, Smashmouth, TLC, and Britney Spears - yas loved that 90s/00s vibe. The show design was genuinely flawless. Bravo Jen Oundjian. Very fun show.
The prelims results looked dead on from my viewpoint. I thought Busco had the best show of the day and expected the rest to be finalists, except for Strongsville who I simply did not see. Again, very nice job hosting Walsh Jesuit and good work by all competing choirs.
Final results are posted. Not sure who took band. Feel free to plug in the pieces, folks! Also, I was there during the day. I was working on a write-up, but then show choir Saturday happened and I got busy. I'll come back to that later.
Here is the schedule for the 1st Annual Walsh Jesuit Great Lakes Invitational!
Twinsburg MS - RBC Singers --- MS Exhibition --- 10:00am
Twinsburg HS - Mood Swingers --- Single-Gender --- 10:30am
Teays Valley - Prominent Rendition --- Class A --- 11:00am
Brush HS - Soundsation --- Class B --- 11:30am
Wapakoneta HS - Harmony In Motion --- Class B --- 12:00pm
LUNCH BREAK: 12:30pm - 1:30pm
Buckeye HS - Visions --- Class B --- 1:30pm
Churabusco HS - New Era --- Class A --- 2:00pm
Strongsville HS - Mustang Express --- Class B --- 2:30pm
Mayfield HS - Limited Edition --- Class A --- 3:00pm
JUDGES BREAK: 15 minutes
Southwestern HS - Espirit --- Class B --- 3:45pm
Garfield Heights HS - Music Express --- Class A --- 4:15pm