Show Choir National
Orange County picked up 50% of the ribbons and had four of the 15 finalists in the FAME Show Choir National Championship in Waukegan, Illinois this weekend, with the choirs from Los Alamitos High School school winning both the mixed gender and the single-gender events. (Yes, this competition is like what you’ve watched in Glee, but with — I hope and believe — substantially less underage sex. Also, there’s less Sue Sylvester.) Brea-Olinda High School picked up 3rd place in the single-gender division — where it presented both a female and male choir — and finished ninth in the mixed division. Cypress High School also qualified to participate in the mixed division, finishing 17th in the nation.
If you want to watch all of the mixed-group performances. The performance of Los Al’s “Sound FX” choir starts at about the 10:00:00 (ten hour) mark. Brea’s “Masquerade” choir starts at about 5:30:00 and Cypress’s “High Voltage” choir starts at about 9:00:00. The full rundown by both time and final placement (you can sort by either) for the 7 unisex and 18 mixed choirs .
In the unisex division, Orange County brought home the grand prize for the second consecutive year, as Los Al’s “Soundtrax” beat last year’s FAME national champions, Brea’s “Spellbound” and several others. The video of the competition — note that it was a lot spottier in live broadcast, which hopefully will not be reflected in the archived video — .
Lest one imagine that this was a mostly California event, rather than just one where OC has recently dominated, the 2nd place school was from Ft. Wayne, IN, while in the mixed division the second- and third-place schools were from Loveland, OH and Cedar Rapids, IA. Other states represented included Missouri, Mississippi, Nebraska, New York, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wisconsin. Obviously the costs for the California schools to travel to the Chicago area were among the highest of anyone’s.
Los Al’s triumph went well beyond the two Grand Champion trophies. In the mixed competition, they also picked up awards for Best Vocals, Best Choreography, Best Show Design, Best Male Sound, Best Female Sound, Best Costumes, Best Repertoire, and Most Original Song Selection — over half of the overall awards given out. In the unisex competition, they won for Best Vocals, Best Choreography, Best Show Design, and Best Diction, while Brea won the awards for Best Costumes and Best Stage Presence.
As a Show Choir parent, I can strongly recommend this “team participation” activity for students who have either the ability to sing or to dance and act (and ideally both.) A good look at those videos tells you how far this goes beyond the usual high school experience. (Now if we could only restore funding for arts education in general to its former glory days….)
Congratulations to the winners — and to everyone else who qualified to go to Nationals!