Another great year at the Logan Showcase. After watching all nine groups and all the finals, here are some of my thoughts about that Saturday event.
Onalaska "Express" (Prelims and Finals)
This was my first time watching “Express” this season, so I didn’t know what to expect. The only knowledge I had before watching the show was that they were having a pretty stellar year. And what I saw on that day showed why they earned those placements. The timber and tone of the choirs were excellent, as expected for an Onalaska group. However, there were parts in the performance where the vocal started to sound too young for my taste, but that is just a minor thing. Especially since they always go back to their original sound. The choreography was tight and snug. I love the second-number choreography, especially with the “Fit in Box” choreography. A suggestion that could bring this show to the next level is to think about your facial and transitions (from spot to spot). But that thing should come in time with more performances. Overall great.
Chippewa Fall “Chi-Hi Harmonics”
This was also my first time seeing Chippewa Fall this season, and it was good. I enjoyed how into the show the performers were. The opening performance was also excellent. For that second number, I think the performers should milk it more, the free part section and the “worship me.” I want it to be over-the-top acting. But, besides that, this was a good show.
HAND DOWN SHOW OF THE DAY!!! Plymouth didn’t have to slap so hard, but they did. All of the soloists knocked their solos out of the park. The group had the best stage presence of the day. The choreography was super snug and tight (that pause and swipe away in the second number gives me life). The dancers could flow into choreography styles like butter (The opener to the second number or the guys going from a robotic movement to a more grounded movement to the guy’s number.) And, they have my favorite thing in show choir, LEVELS. But the things that make this show for me are the vocals. Plymouth has one of the best piano dynamics I have ever heard. It is quiet enough to draw the audience into the phrase they are singing, yet the piano’s energy is strong enough to keep the intensity of the piano. The best example of this was during the ballad, where the band was clueing into a potential big vocal moment, but, to subvert our expectations, the group returned to an even quieter piano. One of my favorites shows this year; they earned that placement.
As much as I enjoyed this show during prelims, I felt something was missing. It felt like the show didn’t click in until the awesome number (Best Number of The Day) after the ballad. However, that was easily fixed during the final performance. There was that energy/intensity that was missing in their prelims performance. That energy really just gave life to that Ben’s choreography. This was an outstanding performance, and I wish you guys the best of luck for Davenport Central.
Similar to Walhert, something was missing from their prelims ways performance. It didn’t feel like an Hilltopper Show during prelims. However, like Walhert, that was quickly turned around. There were huge Onalaska-style vocal moments and stylistic vocal color changes, all while maintaining that beautiful Onalaska tone. The band was absolutely phenomenal as ever. I think embracing the cheese could bring this show to another level. For example, “Nobody” and “Ballroom Bitz.” I want those numbers to be over-the-top cheese like old school La Crosse Central novelty numbers. But what a great show.
Best Soloist - Wahlert "Impulse" Aidan Dolan
Best Soloist - Onalaska "Express" (I believe it was Elizabeth Matz)
Best Band - Onalaska "Hilltoppers"
People Choice - Parkview "Pizazz"
Best Crew - Plymouth "Momentum"
Finals (Not Placement Order But, is Performance Order)
Chippewa Falls "Chi High Harmonics"
Onalaska "Hilltoppers" (Performance Order Might Change)
Waseca "State Street Singers"
Alex Knoepker- Band Critique
Neal Raskin - Band Critique
Matthew Endres - Band Scoring
Nancy Allen - Scoring
Adam Miller - Scoring
Kathryn Skemp Moran - Scoring
Grant Luther - Critique and Final Scoring
Lindy Cashdollar - Critique and Final Scoring