Happiness Inc. Heads to Nashville

Lauren+Sempf+performs+on+stage+with+Happiness%2C+Inc.

Merideth Langton

Lauren Sempf performs on stage with Happiness, Inc.

Sonja Woerner, Writer

Kennedy’s varsity show choir Happiness Inc. is heading to Nashville to compete for the 2022 national title. They will compete at the Grand Ole Opry on March 25 at 1:45 p.m. This puts Happiness as the last competing team before preliminary awards.

The performers are returning from last year’s non-competitive season to face show choirs from around the country.

“I’m excited we were able to have a season at all this year,” Storm Ziegler, director of Happiness, said. “But it took a lot of work to get to the level the kids need to be at to be competitive. We’re also competing against groups that consistently make finals at every competition. It’s really hard to say how we’ll do.”

The group has faced difficulties related to COVID-19. Earlier this season, Kennedy had to drop out of their second competition, Linn-Mar’s Supernova. After the first competition in Ankeny, around half of Happiness caught COVID-19 and were out of commission for weeks.

“Ankeny was a super-spreader event for us,” Ziegler said. “We had to cancel both our Linn-Mar competition and our desert concert. It made a pretty big dent in our rehearsals and made things quite a bit more difficult.”

Many of the members in Happiness have never competed in varsity show choir despite participating in 2021. The season was non-competitive due to the risks of COVID-19. This means the first year they have competed at a high school level is also the year they will be going to nationals.

“We had to work really hard this year. Not a lot of people knew what they had to do. We only had five people in the group this year who had ever competed at a varsity level with Happiness. The COVID year made everything more difficult because we had never worked so hard together before,” said Ziegler.

Seniors are now looking back on their time in show choir throughout high school. They could have been a part of Happiness for longer without the COVID-19 interruption. Some are disappointed about losing that chance.

“As a first-year happiness senior, I can say I feel sad,” Sara Adams said. “I wish I could have been closer with people and been in the group longer. Show choir was such a good experience for me and I’m going to miss it.”

Despite mixed emotions, group members are hopeful about the national competition.

“Nationals are going to be very hard this year,” Adams said. “There are so many amazing groups, I couldn’t even tell you for sure that we are going to make finals. I think that is going to make it more fun; all the groups will be fighting to get those finals spots and it will be so rewarding if we make it.”